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1' 129 826 




COLLECTED WORKS 
OF 

V. I. LENIN 



Completely revised, edited and annotated. 

The only edition authorized by the 

V. L Lenin Institute, Moscow 



LENIN 



VOLUME XX 

THE REVOLUTION 
OF 1917 

FROM THE MARCH REVOLUTION 
TO THE JULY DAYS 

BOOK I 




NEW YORK 
INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHERS 



Copyright, 1929, by 
INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHERS CO., INC. 

Printed inthe U.S. A. 



Composed and printed by union labor 



Translated by 
JOSHUA KUNITZ and MOISSAYE J. OLGIN 

Edited by 
ALEXANDER TRACHTENBERG 




CONTENTS 



PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION 13 

LETTERS, ARTICLES AND SPEECHES FROM THE BEGINNING 

OF THE MARCH REVOLUTION TO THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 17-88 

Two Letters to A. M. Kollontai 

Draft of Theses of March 17, 1917 

Letters from Afar 

First Letter: The First Stage of the First Revolution 
Second Letter: The New Government and the Pro- 
letariat 

Third Letter: On Proletarian Militia 

Fourth Letter: How to Get Peace 

Fifth Letter: Problems of Revolutionary Proletarian 

Organisation of the State 62 

The Revolution in Russia and the Tasks of the "Workers 

of All Countries 64 

Letter to J. S. Hanecki 69 

Tricks of the Republican Chauvinists 74 

Report on the Tasks of the Russian Social-Democratic 

Labour Party in the Russian Revolution . . . CE& 

Farewell Letter to the Swiss Workers 82 

ARTICLES, REPORTS AND SPEECHES IMMEDIATELY AFTER 

THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 89-196 

How We Arrived 91 

Speech Dealing with the Question of the Journey 
through Germany, Delivered at the Session of the 
Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet , . 94 

Speech Delivered at a Caucus of the Bolshevik Mem- 
bers of the All-Russian Conference of the Soviets 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies ..... 

Two Worlds 

On the Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution 

In Louis Blanc's Footsteps 

On Dual Power 

Letters on Tactics 

7 



CONTENTS 



The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution (Pro- 
posed Platform of a Proletarian Party) . . . 130-157 

The Class Character of the Revolution .... 130 

The Foreign Policies of the New Government . 131 

Unique Dual Power and Its Class Meaning ... 132 
The Peculiarity of the Tactics Following from the 

Above 135 

Revolutionary Defencism and Its Class Meaning . 136 

How the War Can Be Ended 138 

The New Type of State Arising in Our Revolution . 139 

The Agrarian and the National Programmes . . . 142 

Nationalisation of Banks and Capitalist Syndicates . 144 

The State of Affairs in the Socialist International . 145 
The Breakdown of the Zimmerwald International. 

The Necessity of Forming a Third International 150 
A Name for Our Party Which Would be Scientifically 
Sound and Conducive to Proletarian Class 

Thinking 154 

Political Parties in Russia and the Tasks of the Prole- 
tariat 158 

Speech Delivered at a Meeting of Soldiers of the Izmai- 

lov Regiment 168 

A Shameless Lie of the Capitalists 171 

The War and the Provisional Government .... 173 

In the Footsteps of the Russkaia Volia 176 

A League of Falsehood 178 

Banks and Ministers 181 

An Important Expose 182 

To the Soldiers and Sailors 183 

Against the Pogrom Makers 186 

Citizens! Understand the Nature of the Methods Used 

by the Capitalists of All Countries 189 

"Voluntary Agreement" between Landowners and Peas- 
ants? 192 

An Honest Voice in a Chorus of Slanderers .... 193 

The Soldiers and the Land 195 

THE PETROGRAD CITY CONFERENCE OF THE RUSSIAN 

SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY 197-216 

Report on the Political Situation and the Attitude To- 
wards the Provisional Government 199 



CONTENTS 



Concluding Remarks Concerning the Report on the Politi- 
cal Situation 205 

Resolution on the Attitude Towards the Provisional Gov- 
ernment 207 

Two Rebuttals Made During the Discussion of the Reso- 
lution on the Attitude Towards the Provisional 
Government 209 

Draft Resolution on the War 209 

Two Rebuttals Made During the Discussion on the 

Question of Municipal Elections 214 

Resolution on the Municipal Question 215 

ARTICLES, SPEECHES, RESOLUTIONS, ETC., ON THE EVE 
OF THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL [MAY] CONFERENCE OF THE 
RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY .... 217-268 

The Congress of Peasant Deputies 219 

On the Return of the Emigrants 222 

Our Views (Reply to the Resolution of the Executive 

Commission of the Soviet of Soldiers' Deputies) . 223 

How They Have Attached Themselves to the Capitalists 227 

On Proletarian Militia 229 

Collapse? 233 

The Note of the Provisional Government .... 234 

One of the Basic Questions 236 

With Ikons against Cannons, with Phrases against 

Capital 240 

The Logic of Citizen V. Chernov 242 

Mr. Plekhanov's Unsuccessful Attempts at Extricating 

Himself 243 

A Resolution of the Central Committee of the Russian 

Social-Democratic Labour Party 245 

Honest Defencism Reveals Itself 248 

Insane Capitalists or Feeble-Minded Social-Democrats 251 
Advice or Order of Shingarev, and Advice of One Local 

Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies . . . 253 
Resolution of the Central Committee of the Russian 

Social-Democratic Labour Party 254 

Lessons of the Crisis 256 

How a Simple Question is Muddled 260 

"Disgrace" as Understood by the Capitalists and the 

Proletarians 262 



10 CONTENTS 



PAGE 

Interview with E. Torniainen 264 

Foolish Malicious Glee 265 

Draft of Theses for a Resolution on the Soviets . . . 267 

THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL [MAY] CONFERENCE OF THE 
RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY .... 269-319 

Speech Delivered at the Opening of the Conference . 271 

Report on the Political Situation 271 

Concluding Remarks in Connection with the Report on 

the Political Situation 285 

Speech on the Proposed Calling of an International So- 
cialist Conference 287 

Speech on the Attitude Toward the Soviets of Workers' 

and Soldiers' Deputies 291 

Speech in Favour of the Resolution Relating to the War 291 

Report on the Agrarian Question 302 

Reply to N. S. Angarsky During the Debate on the Agra- 
rian Question 307 

Report on the Revision of the Party Programme . . . 308 

Speech on the National Question 310 

Speech on the Situation within the International and 
the Tasks of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour 

Party 315 

Speech in Favour of the Resolution on the Political 

Situation 315 

Concluding Remarks at the Closing of the Conference 318 
Preface to Imperialism as the Final Stage of Capital- 
ism 320 

MATERIALS RELATING TO THE REVISION OF THE PARTY 
PROGRAMME 323-343 

Introduction to the Pamphlet, Materials Relating to the 

Revision of the Party Programme .... 325 

Proposed Changes in the Theoretical, Political and Sev- 
eral Other Parts of the Programme 326 

Concerning the Remarks of the Commission of the Ail- 
Russian April Conference 330 

Draft of Revised Programme. The Old and the New- 
Texts of the Programme 332 

EXPLANATORY NOTES 345 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAGE 

Facsimile of the First Page of Lenin's Letter to A. M. Kollon- 
tai, March 16, 1917 18 

Facsimile of the First Page of the "Second Letter" of Lenin's 
"Letters from Afar," March 22, 1917 90 

First Page of the Zurich Volksreckt, March 31, 1917, Showing 
an Account of Lenin's Lecture on "The Tasks of the 
R. S.-D. L P. in the Russian Revolution," Entitled "Lenin 
on the Russian Revolution" 198 

First Page of the Pravda, April 20, 1917, Showing the Begin- 
ning of Lenin's Article, "The Tasks of the Proletariat in 
the Present Revolution" 218 

Facsimile of the First Page of Lenin's Article, "To the Sol- 
diers and Sailors," April, 1917 270 

Title Page of the Pamphlet, Materials Relating to the Revision 
of the Party Programme, Petrograd, 1917 .... 324 



PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION 

The present volume covers the period of the first four months 
of the Revolution of 1917 from the middle of March to the 
middle of July; from the time when Lenin, living in Zurich as an 
exile, received the first authentic news of the outbreak of the revo- 
lution to the critical July Days when he was forced to go into 
hiding. 

The July crisis represents the dividing line between the two 
periods of the Revolution of 1917 the overthrow of tsarism in 
March and the defeat of the bourgeoisie in November not only in 
point of time but also in point of content. Constituting a decisive 
turn in the development of the proletarian revolution in Russia, 
it therefore offers a natural chronological limit for Volume XX 
of the Collected Works, which, together with Volume XXI, com- 
prises all of Lenin's utterances on the Revolution of 1917. 

The new Russian edition published by the V. I. Lenin Institute, 
which has served as a basis for the present definitive English trans- 
lation, has been considerably enlarged as compared with the pre- 
vious editions. All of the writings relating to this period and 
established as belonging to the pen of Lenin, as, for example, more 
than 30 unsigned articles from the Pravda, as well as all the 
speeches of that time of which records have been preserved, have 
been included in this volume. A few letters of special political 
importance have also been added. These are the two letters to 
A. M. Kollontai of March 16 and 17, which represent Lenin's first 
reaction to the news of the Russian Revolution, and the letter to 
Hanecki of March 30 which shows Lenin's political line and his 
anxiousness to extricate himself from provincial Switzerland in 
order to proceed without delay to revolutionary Russia. 

Lenin's speeches reproduced in this volume presented a special 
problem. The difficulty of reporting speeches accurately, even with 
the best technical facilities, is well known. Many of the speeches 
of this period, however, were not reported stenographically but 
only recorded in minutes. But even when stenographic reports 
had been made, Lenin was able to correct them personally only in 
very rare instances. Lenin himself repeatedly pointed to this 

13 



14 PREFACE 

defect and refused to be responsible for the textual formulation 
of the reports of his speeches. The careful reader of these speeches, 
particularly in this volume, will meet these defects himself. Many 
of the speeches do not reproduce Lenin's words but his train of 
thought. And in parts even this is broken off, as is particularly 
the case, for example, in the "Speech Delivered at a Caucus of the 
Bolshevik Members of the All-Russian Conference of the Soviets of 
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies" (see pp. 95-103, Book I of this 
volume). Such gaps are indicated by several dots. In a few 
cases what are probably the missing words have been supplied in 
brackets. No changes have been made in the stenographic reports 
or minute records. 

The large quantity of material and the desire to avoid making it 
too bulky led to the division of the English translation of this 
volume and its publication in two books. The first of these ex- 
tends to the beginning of June; the second ends with the July Days. 

For the convenience of the reader, a number of appendices have 
been added, consisting of explanatory notes, biographical notes of 
persons referred to in the text, bibliography, documents and other 
materials of historic importance (such as documents dealing with 
Lenin's passage through Germany, two articles by L. Kamenev, 
proclamations, resolutions and official party statements with which 
Lenin deals in his articles or speeches), a chronology of events 
and a calendar of Lenin's life at that time. The documents and 
chronologies should give the reader the historical background and 
contribute to a better understanding of the events of the period. 

The appendices as a whole will be found at the end of Book II, 
with the exception of the explanatory notes which have been di- 
vided between the two books. Since the purpose of these notes is 
to facilitate the understanding of the text, that part which refers 
directly to material in Book I has been placed at the end of that 
book. The explanatory notes in Book II continue the numbering 
of the notes in the first book. These explanatory notes are based 
upon those in the Russian edition published under the supervision 
of the V. I. Lenin Institute. In some cases, however, amplifica- 
tions or additional notes have been made by the editor where these 
seemed desirable for readers of the English translation. 

Lenin's own notes have been reproduced as footnotes to the text. 
Wherever footnotes by the editor have been added, they have been 
designated as such. Notes in the text proper by the editor have 
been placed in brackets and designated as his. 



PREFACE 15 

All of the material has been chronologically arranged, with the 
exception of the "Materials Relating to the Revision of the Party 
Programme" (see pp. 323-343, Book I of this volume). These 
have been placed after the material on the April (May) Conference, 
although the first part was written before this conference and 
served as material for it. 

All dates following the Russian old style calendar, which is thir- 
teen days behind the calendar of Western Europe, and used in the 
Russian edition, have been changed to new style in accord with 
our own practice. 

The bulk of the translation of this volume has been made by 
Joshua Kunitz, the remainder having been done into English by 
Moissaye J. Olgin who also revised the translation as a whole. 

Facsimile illustrations were supplied by the V. I. Lenin Insti- 
tute whose gracious co-operation at all stages of the work has 
made possible the publication of this volume in English. 



LETTERS, ARTICLES AND SPEECHES FROM THE 
BEGINNING OF THE MARCH REVOLUTION TO THE 

RETURN TO RUSSIA 
FROM MARCH 16 TO APRIL 15, 1917 




Facsimile of the First Page of Lenin's Letter to A. M. KollonttL 
March 16, 1917 (see p. 19). 



THE REVOLUTION OF 1917 

TWO LETTERS TO A. M. KOLLONTAI 1 
I 

March 16, 1917. 
DEAR A. M.: 

We have just received the second series of government telegrams 
concerning the revolution of March 14 in Petrograd [now Lenin- 
grad], The workers have been fighting in bloody battles for a 
week, yet Miliukov plus Guchkov plus Kerensky are in power! The 
same "old" European pattern. . . . 

Well, what of it! This "first stage of the first revolution" bred 
by the war will be neither final nor confined to Russia. We, of 
course, retain our opposition to the defence of the fatherland, to 
the imperialist slaughter directed by Shingarev plus the Kerenskys 
and Co. 

All our slogans remain the same; in the last issue of the Social' 
Democrat 2 we spoke plainly of the possibility of a government "of 
Miliukov and Guchkov, if not of Miliukov and Kerensky." It has 
turned out that all three are in it. Lovely! We shall see how the 
People's Freedom Party 8 (which commands a majority in the new 
Cabinet, Konovalov being inclined rather "to the Left," while 
Kerensky is decidedly more to the Left!) will give the people 
freedom, bread, and peace. . . . We shall see! 

Now, it is most urgent to establish our press, and to organise 
the workers into a revolutionary Social-Democratic Party. Chkhen- 
keli will have (he has promised!) to provide the money for the 
"defence of the fatherland." As to Mr. Chkheidze, though he de- 
livered extremely radical speeches during the revolution or on the 
eve of it (when even Yefremov spoke in a most r-r-revolutionary 
manner), he does not, of course, deserve the slightest confidence 
after all the "politics" he pursued relative to the Potresovs and Co., 

19 



20 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

and to Chkhenkeli, etc. It would be the greatest misfortune were the 
Cadets 4 to promise a legal labour party, and were our people to 
"unite" with Chkheidze and Co.! 

But that will not happen. First, the Cadets will allow nobody 
to form a legal labour party, except Messrs. Potresov and Co. 
Second, even if they do allow it, we shall create, as before, OUT 
own party, most assuredly combining legal work with illegal. 

Never again along the lines of the Second International! Never 
again with Kautsky! By all means a more revolutionary programme 
and more revolutionary tactics (K. Liebknecht, the American So- 
cialist Labour Party, 6 the Dutch Marxists, 6 etc., show elements of 
such programme and tactics), and by all means a combination of 
legal and illegal work. Republican propaganda; war against im- 
perialism; revolutionary propaganda, as heretofore, agitation, and 
struggle for an international proletarian revolution and for the 
conquest of power by the "Soviets of Workers* Deputies" (but not 
by the Cadet fakers). 

. . . After the "great rebellion" of 1905, the "glorious revolu- 
tion" of 1917! 7 

Kindly forward this letter to Liudmila, also send me a few 
words as to how far we agree, or disagree, and what are the plans 
of A. M., etc. Should our Deputies 8 be released we must by 
all means bring one to Scandinavia for a couple of weeks. 

With firm handshake, 

Yours, 

LENIN. 

II 

March 17, 1917. 
DEAR A. M.: 

We have just received your telegram, which is so worded as to 
sound almost ironic (much good it will do to send "instructions" 
from here, when information is so pitifully scanty, while there are 
in Petrograd not only leading party members but also officially 
designated representatives of the Central Committee!). 

I have just read a telegram of the Petrograd Telegraph Agency of 
March 17, containing the programme of the new government and 
Bonar Law's declaration to the effect that the Tsar had not yet 
abdicated, and that his whereabouts were unknown. 



LETTERS TO A. M. KOLLONTAI 21 

Yesterday it seemed that the Guchkov-Miliukov government was 
fully victorious, that it had already entered into an agreement with 
the dynasty; to-day it appears that the dynasty is no more, that 
the Tsar has fled, evidently making ready for a counter-revolu- 
tion! . . . 

We have started working on the theses, which we may complete 
to-night. Of course, we shall forward them to you immediately. 
If possible, wait until you get these theses, which will correct (or 
supplant) the things I am now writing in my own name. 

Zinoviev and I have just succeeded in preparing the outline of 
the theses. It is the first draft, editorially quite unsatisfactory (we 
shall, of course, not publish it in the present form), but which, I 
hope, gives an idea as to the fundamentals.* 

We urgently ask you to acquaint Youri and Eugenie Bosh, as well 
as Liudmila, with this, and to send us at least a few words Lefore 
you leave. Also be sure to arrange with some one remaining in 
Norway about forwarding OUT material to Russia and the Russian 
to us. Please do it, and ask the one remaining (perhaps a Nor- 
wegian who knows German, French, or English) to be very punctual. 
We shall send money to cover expenses. 

In my opinion, our main task is to guard against getting en- 
tangled in foolish attempts at "unity" with the social-patriots 9 
(or, what is still more dangerous, with the wavering ones, like the 
Organisation Committee, 10 Trotsky and Co.) and to continue the 
work of our own party in a consistently internationalist spirit. 

Our immediate task is to widen the scope of our work, to organise 
the masses, to arouse new social strata, the backward elements, the 
rural population, the domestic servants, to form nuclei in the army 
for the purpose of carrying on a systematic and detailed expose 
of the new government, to prepare the seizure of power by the 
Soviets of Workers 9 Deputies. Only this power can give bread, 
peace, and freedom. 

Right now, complete the rout of reaction; refuse all confidence 
or support to the new government (not a shadow of confidence to 
Kerensky, Gvozdev, Chkhenkeli, Chkheidze and Co.) ; keep armed 
watchfulness; armed preparation of a broader base for a higher 
stage. 

If there is freedom of the press, republish (as material for a 
history of the recent past) the things we have written here, and 

* See p. 23 of this book. Ed. 



22 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

notify us by telegraph whether we can be of help by sending our 
writings via Scandinavia. We fear we shall not be able to leave 
this accursed Switzerland so soon. 

I wish you the greatest possible success! 
With firm handshake, 

Yours, 

LENIN. 

P.S. I am afraid that the epidemic of "sheer" enthusiasm may 
now spread in Petrograd, without a systematic effort towards the 
creation of a party of a new type, which must by no means resemble 
those of the Second International. Spread out! Arouse new strata! 
Awaken new initiative, form new organisations in every layer, and 
prove to them that peace can come only with the armed Soviet of 
Workers* Deputies in power. 

First published in the Lenin Collection [Leninsky Sbornik], Vol. n, 1924. 



DRAFT OF THESES OF MARCH 17, 1917" 

NEWS from Russia reaching us in Zurich at this writing, March 
17, 1917, is so scanty, and events in our country are developing so 
rapidly, that one must be extremely cautious in forming a judg- 
ment as to the present state of affairs. 

Yesterday's telegrams presented the situation as if the Tsar had 
already abdicated and a government of Cadets and Octobrists 12 
had already concluded an agreement with other representatives of 
the Romanov dynasty. To-day's papers publish reports from Eng- 
land to the effect that the Tsar has not yet abdicated, and that his 
whereabouts are unknown! It means, then, that the Tsar is trying 
to offer resistance, to organise a party and perhaps an army to 
restore the monarchy; it is even possible that, in order to deceive 
the people, the Tsar, if he should succeed in making his escape from 
Russia or in gaining the support of a portion of the army, will 
issue a manifesto announcing an immediate, separate peace signed 
by him with Germany! 

Under these circumstances the task of the proletariat is rather 
complicated. It is perfectly obvious that the proletariat must or- 
ganise more thoroughly, must muster all its forces, arm itself and 
strengthen and develop its alliance with all the layers of the 
labouring masses in city and country, in order to offer merciless 
resistance to tsarist reaction and to crush completely the tsarist 
monarchy. 

On the other hand, the new government that has seized power in 
Petrograd, or, rather, has snatched it from the hands of the 
proletariat after the latter had won a victory in bloody battles, con- 
sists of the liberal bourgeoisie and landowners, who have harnessed 
Kerensky, that representative of the democratic peasantry and, 
perhaps, of a section of workers who have forgotten their inter- 
nationalism and have been lured into following the bourgeoisie. 
The new government consists of avowed supporters and defenders 
of the imperialist war with Germany, the war now waged in league 
with the imperialist governments of England and France for the 

23 



24 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

sake of robbing and subjugating foreign lands Armenia, Galicia, 
Constantinople, etc. 

The new government can give to the peoples of Russia (or to 
those nations to which we are bound by war) neither peace, nor 
bread, nor complete freedom, and for that reason the working class 
must continue its struggle for Socialism and for peace, must utilise 
the new situation for that purpose and explain it to the large 
masses of the people. 

The new government cannot bring peace, because it represents 
the capitalists and the landowners; and because it is bound by 
treaties and financial obligations to the capitalists of England and 
France. Russian Social-Democracy, to remain truly internationalist, 
must immediately, and before everything else, explain to the masses 
anxious for peace the impossibility of obtaining it while the present 
government is in power. In its first proclamation to the people 
(March 17), 1S the government uttered not a word about the main 
and basic question of the present moment, peace. It keeps secret 
the predatory treaties made by tsarism with England, France, Italy, 
Japan, etc. It wishes to conceal from the people the truth about its 
war programme, and the fact that it is for war, for victory over 
Germany. It cannot do the thing that the peoples must needs 
have done, L e., directly and openly propose to all the warring 
nations that an armistice be immediately declared, to be followed 
by a peace concluded on the basis of full freedom for the colonies, 
as well as for all the subject and dependent nations. To realise 
this, we must have a workers' government, allied first with the mass 
of the poorest village population, and second, with the revolutionary 
workers of all the warring countries. 

The new government cannot give the people bread. And no 
amount of freedom will satisfy masses suffering hunger because of 
lack of supplies, because of their bad distribution, and, chiefly, be- 
cause they were cornered by the landlords and capitalists. To give 
bread to the people, one must resort to revolutionary measures 
against the landowners and the capitalists; such measures, however, 
can be carried out only by a workers' government. 

Nor can the new government give the people full freedom, 
although in its Manifesto of March 17, 1917, it spoke exclusively 
of political freedom, ignoring completely other no less important 
Questions. The new government has already made an attempt to 
enter into an agreement with the Romanov dynasty, for, disregard- 



THESES OF MARCH 17, 1917 25 

ing the will of the people, it has offered to recognise the dynasty 
on condition that Nicholas II abdicate and that some one of the 
Romanov family be appointed as Regent for his son. 14 The new 
government in its Manifesto promises all sorts of liberties, but 
does nothing to fulfil its plain and absolute duty to put these 
liberties into effect, to institute the election of officers, etc., by the 
soldiers; to set a date for the election to the city councils of 
Petrograd, Moscow, etc., on the basis of universal, and not merely 
male, suffrage; to throw all government and city buildings open for 
mass meetings; to call for elections to all local institutions and 
zemstvos 15 on the basis of the same really universal suffrage; to 
abolish all restrictions on local self-government; to remove all 
officials appointed from above to supervise local government; to 
put into effect not only freedom of religion, but also freedom from 
religion; to immediately separate school from church and bureau- 
cratic control, etc. 

The entire Manifesto of the new government, published on March 
17, inspires one with the greatest distrust, for it consists only of 
promises, and does not carry into life any of the most essential 
measures that could and should be fully realised right now. 

In its programme the new government does not say a word about 
the eight-hour day or other improvements in the economic con- 
dition of the workers; it says nothing about land for the peasants, 
about transferring to the peasants, without compensation, all of 
the landowners' land. By keeping silent on these vital questions, 
it reveals its capitalist and landowning nature. 

Only a workers' government, basing itself, first, on the vast 
majority of the peasant population, the rural workers and the 
poorest peasants; second, on an alliance with the revolutionary 
workers of the warring countries, can give peace, bread, and com- 
plete freedom to the people. 

The revolutionary proletariat, therefore, cannot but view the 
revolution of March 14 as its first, though far from complete, victory 
along its glorious course; it cannot but assume the task of con- 
tinuing the struggle to achieve a democratic republic and Socialism. 

To accomplish this, the proletariat and the Russian Social-Demo- 
cratic Labour Party 16 must first of all utilise the relative and in- 
complete freedom which is being instituted by the new government, 
but which only a further, more persistent and stubborn revolu- 
tionary struggle can broaden and make secure. 



26 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

It is necessary that all the toiling masses of the country and 
city, and also the army, should learn the truth about the present 
government and its actual position on essential questions. It is 
necessary to organise Soviets of Workers' Deputies and to arm the 
workers; it is necessary to carry proletarian organisation into the 
army (which has also been promised political rights by the gov- 
ernment) and into the village; it is particularly necessary to have 
a separate class-organisation of hired agricultural workers. 

Only when the largest possible masses of the population are 
enlightened, only when they are organised, can complete victory 
of the next stage of the revolution and the conquest of power 
by a workers' government, be secured. 

To accomplish this task, which in revolutionary times and under 
the influence of the painful lessons of the war can be grasped by 
the people in an immeasurably shorter time than under ordinary 
circumstances, it is necessary that the party of the revolutionary 
proletariat, which has remained loyal to internationalism and has 
not yielded to the lie of bourgeois phrases deceitfully advocating 
"defence of the fatherland" in the present imperialist and predatory 
war, should retain independence of ideas and organisation. 

Not only the present government, but even a democratic-bourgeois 
republican government, were it to consist only of Kerensky and 
other Narodnik 17 and "Marxian" social-patriots, would be unable 
to rid the people of the imperialist war, and to guarantee peace. 

This is why we cannot enter into any blocs, alliances, nor even 
agreements with either the defencists 1S among the workers, nor with 
the group represented by Gvozdev-Potresov-Chkhenkeli-Kerensky, 
etc., nor with people who, like Chkheidze and others, take a vacil- 
lating and indefinite stand on this fundamental question. Such 
agreements would not only inject a lie into the consciousness of 
the masses, and make them dependent upon die imperialist bour- 
geoisie of Russia, but they would also weaken and undermine 
the leadership of the proletariat in the cause of ridding the people 
of imperialist wars and guaranteeing a true and lasting peace among 
the workers' governments of all countries. 

First published in the Lenin Collection, Vol. II, 1924, 



LETTERS FROM AFAR 19 
FIRST LETTER 

THE FIRST STAGE OF THE FIRST REVOLUTION 

THE first revolution arising out of the imperialist World War 
has broken out. This first revolution will, certainly, not be the 
last. 

The first stage of this first revolution, namely, the Russian revolu- 
tion of March 14, 1917, is over, according to the scanty informa- 
tion at the writer's disposal in Switzerland. Surely this first stage 
of our revolution will not be the last one. 

How could such a "miracle" happen, that in eight days the 
period indicated by M. Miliukov in his boastful telegram to all the 
representatives of Russia abroad a monarchy that had maintained 
itself for centuries, and continued to maintain itself during three 
years of tremendous national class conflicts of 1905-1907, could 
utterly collapse? 

There are no miracles in nature or in history, yet every sudden 
turn in history, including every revolution, presents such a wealth 
of material, it unfolds such unexpectedly peculiar co-ordinations of 
forms of conflict and alignment of fighting forces, that there is 
much that must appear miraculous to the burgher's mind. 

A combination of a whole series of conditions of world-wide 
historic importance was required for the tsarist monarchy to col- 
lapse in a few days. Let us point out the principal ones. 

Without the three years, 1905-1907, of tremendous class conflicts 
and of revolutionary energy of the Russian proletariat, this second 
revolution could not possibly have had the rapid progress indicated 
in the fact that its first phase was accomplished in a few days. The 
first revolution (1905) ploughed the ground deeply and uprooted 
the prejudices of centuries; it awakened to political life and strug- 
gle millions of workers and tens of millions of peasants. The 
first revolution revealed to the workers and peasants, as well as to 
the world, all the classes (and all the principal parties) of Russian 
society in their true character; the actual alignment of their in- 

27 



28 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

terests, their powers and modes of action, their immediate and 
ultimate objectives. This first revolution, and the succeeding 
counter-revolutionary period (1907-1914), fully revealed the nature 
of the tsarist monarchy as having reached the "utmost limit"; it 
exposed all the infamy and vileness, all the cynicism and corruption 
of the tsarist clique dominated by that monster, Rasputin; it ex- 
posed all the bestiality of the Romanov family that band of 
assassins which bathed Russia in the blood of the Jews, the workers, 
the revolutionaries those landowners, "first among peers," who 
owned millions of acres of land and would stoop to any brutality, 
to any crime ready to ruin or crush any section of the population, 
however numerous, in order to preserve the "sacred property rights" 
for themselves and for their class. 

Without the revolution of 1905-1907, without the counter-revolu- 
tion of 1907-1914, it would have been impossible to secure so clear 
a "self-determination" of all classes of the Russian people and of 
all the peoples inhabiting Russia, a clarification of the relation of 
these classes to each other and to the tsarist monarchy, as transpired 
during the eight days of the March revolution. This eight-day 
revolution, if we may express ourselves in terms of metaphors, was 
"performed" after a dozen informal as well as dress rehearsals; 
the "actors" knew each other and their roles, their places, and the 
entire setting; they knew every detail through and through, down 
to the last more or less significant shade of political tendency and 
mode of action. 

But, in order that the first great revolution of 1905, which Messrs. 
Guchkov and Miliukov and their satellites condemned as a "great 
rebellion" should, after the lapse of a dozen years, lead to the 
"glorious revolution" of 1917 so termed by the Guchkovs and 
Miliukovs because (for the present) it has put them into power 
there was still needed a great, mighty, all-powerful "regisseur," 
who was, on the one hand, in a position to accelerate the course 
of history on a grand scale, and, on the other, to produce world- 
wide crises of unheard-of intensity: economic, political, national 
and international. In addition to an unusual acceleration of world 
history, there were also needed particularly sharp historic turns 
so that during one of them the blood-stained chariot of tsarism might 
be overturned in a trice. 

This all-powerful "regisseur," this mighty accelerator of events, 
was the imperialist World War. 



LETTERS FROM AFAR i 29 

Now it can no longer be doubted that this war is world-wide, 
for the United States and China have been half dragged in already, 
and to-morrow will be completely involved in it. 

Nor can it any longer be doubted that the war is imperialistic 
on both sides. Only the capitalists and their satellites, the social- 
patriots and social-chauvinists, can deny or suppress this fact. 
Both the German and the Anglo-French bourgeoisie are waging war 
for the grabbing of foreign territory, for the strangulation of small 
nations, for financial supremacy over the world, for the division 
and redistribution of colonies, for saving the tottering capitalist 
regime by means of deceiving and disuniting the workers in the 
various countries. 

It was objectively inevitable that the imperialist war should im- 
mensely quicken and unusually sharpen the class struggle of the 
proletariat against the, bourgeoisie, and transform itself into a 
civil war between hostile classes. 

This transformation has been started by the March revolution, 
whose first stage has shown us, first, a joint attack on tsarism de- 
livered by two forces: on the one hand, the whole bourgeois and 
landowning class of Russia, with all their unenlightened followers 
and very enlightened managers, in the persons of the Anglo-French 
ambassadors and capitalists; and, on the other, the Soviet of 
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 

These three political camps, three fundamental political forces: 
(1) The tsarist monarchy, the head of the feudal landowning class, 
the head of the old bureaucracy and of the higher military com- 
manders; (2) the Russia of the bourgeoisie and landowners repre- 
sented by the Octobrists and Cadets, with the petty bourgeoisie in 
their wake; (3) the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, 
seeking for allies among the entire proletariat and the whole mass 
of the poorest population these three fundamental political forces 
have revealed themselves with utmost clarity even in the first eight 
days of the "first stage." This is evident even to such an observer 
as the present writer who is far away from the scene of events 
and is compelled to confine himself to the meagre dispatches of 
foreign papers. 

But before going into further detail in this matter, I must come 
back to that portion of my letter which is devoted to a factor of 
first importance, namely, the imperialist World War. 

The belligerent powers, the belligerent groups of capitalists, the 



30 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

"masters" of the capitalist system, and the slave-drivers of capi- 
talist slavery, have been shackled to each other by the war with 
chains of iron. One bloody lump, that is the socio-political life 
of the historic period through which we are now passing. 

The Socialists who deserted to the bourgeoisie at the beginning 
of the war, all the Davids and Scheidemanns in Germany, the 
Plekhanovs, Potresovs, Gvozdevs and Co, in Russia, have long been 
shouting lustily against the "illusions" of the revolutionists, against 
the "illusions" of the Basel Manifesto, 20 against the "dream farce" 
of turning the imperialist war into civil war. They have sung 
hymns of praise to the alleged strength, tenacity and adaptability 
of capitalism, while they were aiding the capitalists in "adapting," 
taming, deceiving and disuniting the working classes of the various 
countries! 

But "he who laughs last laughs best." The bourgeoisie was not 
able to delay for very long the coming of the revolutionary crisis 
produced by the war. This crisis is growing with irresistible force 
in all countries, beginning with Germany where, according to a 
recent observer who visited that country, there is "hunger organised 
with the ability of genius," and down to England and France 
where hunger is also looming, though it is not so "wonderfully" 
organised. 

It is natural that the tsarist Russia, where disorganisation was 
monstrous, where the proletariat is the most revolutionary in the 
world (not due to any specific characteristics, but because of the 
vivid traditions of "1905" 21 ) , the revolutionary crisis should have 
burst forth earlier than anywhere else. The crisis was hastened 
by a number of most serious defeats inflicted on Russia and her 
allies. These defeats disorganised the entire old mechanism of gov- 
ernment and the entire old system; they aroused the indignation of 
all classes of the population; they incensed the army and largely 
wiped out the old body of commanders hailing from the backward 
nobility and particularly from the rotten officialdom, replacing it 
with a young and buoyant one of a predominantly bourgeois, petty- 
bourgeois and declassed origin. 

But, if military defeats played the role of a negative factor that 
hastened the outbreak, the alliance of Anglo-French finance-capital, 
of Anglo-French imperialism, with the Octobrist and Constitutional- 
Democratic capital of Russia appeared as a factor that speeded this 
crisis. 



LETTERS FROM AFAR i 31 

This highly important phase of the situation is, for obvious 
reasons, not mentioned by the Anglo-French press while maliciously 
emphasised by the German. We Marxists must face the truth 
soberly, being confused neither by the official lies, the sugary 
diplomatic and ministerial lies of one group of imperialist bel- 
ligerents, nor by the sniggering and smirking of its financial and 
military rivals of the other belligerent group. The whole course of 
events in the March revolution shows clearly that the English and 
French embassies with their agents and "associates," who had long 
made the most desperate efforts to prevent a "separate 9 * agreement 
and a separate peace between Nicholas II (let us hope and strive 
that he be the last) and Wilhelm II, strove directly to dethrone 
Nicholas Romanov. 22 

Let us not harbour any illusions. 

The fact that the revolution succeeded so quickly and, apparently, 
at the first superficial glance, so "radically," is due to an unusual 
historical conjuncture where there combined, in a strikingly "favour- 
able" manner, absolutely dissimilar movements, absolutely different 
class interests, absolutely opposed political and social tendencies. 
There was the conspiracy of the Anglo-French imperialists who 
encouraged Miliukov, Guchkov and Co. to seize power, with the 
object of prolonging the imperialist war, with the object of con- 
ducting the war more savagely and obstinately, with the object of 
slaughtering new millions of Russian workers and peasants, in order 
that the Guchkovs might obtain Constantinople; the French, Syria; 
the English capitalists, Mesopotamia, etc. This, on the one side. 
On the other, there was a profound proletarian and popular mass 
movement (of the entire poorest population of the cities and vil- 
lages) of a revolutionary character, for bread, for peace, for real 
freedom. 

The revolutionary workers and soldiers have destroyed the in- 
famous tsarist monarchy to its very foundations, being neither 
elated nor constrained by the fact that, at certain brief historic 
moments of an exceptional combination of circumstances, they are 
aided by the struggle of Buchanan, Guchkov, Miliukov and Co., who 
simply desire to replace one monarch by another. 

Thus, and only thus, did it occur. Thus, and only thus, must 
be the view of the politician who is not afraid of the truth, who 
soberly weighs the interrelation of social forces in a revolution, 
who evaluates every given moment not only from the viewpoint of 



34 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

deceptive practices of the bourgeois politicians, must teach the 
people not to believe in words, but to depend wholly on their own 
strength, on their own organisation, on their own unity, and on their 
own arms." 

The government of the Octobrists and Cadets, of the Guchkovs 
and Miliukovs, could give neither peace, nor bread, nor freedom, 
even if it were sincere in its desire to do so. 

It cannot give peace because it is a government for war, a gov- 
ernment for the continuation of the imperialist slaughter, a govern- 
ment of conquest, a government that has not uttered one word to 
renounce the tsarist policy of seizure of Armenia, Galicia, Turkey, 
of capturing Constantinople, of reconquering Poland, Courlsnd, 
Lithuania, etc. This government is bound hand and foot by Anglo- 
French imperialist capital. Russian capital is merely one branch 
of the world "firm" known as "England and France" manipulating 
hundreds of billions of rubles. 

It cannot give bread, since it is a bourgeois government. At 
best it may give the people, as the government of Germany has 
done, "hunger organised with the ability of genius." But the 
people will not put up with hunger. The people will learn, 
probably very soon, that there is bread, and it can be obtained 
in no other way than by means that do not show any respect for 
the sanctity of capital and landownership. 

It cannot give freedom, since it is a government of landowners 
and capitalists, which is afraid of the people. 

In another article we will speak of the tactical problems con- 
fronting us in our immediate behaviour towards this government. 
There we shall show wherein consists the peculiarity of the present 
moment, which is a period of transition from the first stage of 
the revolution to the second, and why the slogan, the "order 
of the day" in the present moment must be: "Workers, you have 
displayed marvels of proletarian and popular heroism in the civil 
war against tsarism; you must display marvels of proletarian and 
nation-wide organisation in order to prepare your victory in the 
second stage of the revolution." 

Limiting ourselves in the meanwhile to an analysis of the class 
struggle and the interrelation of class forces in this stage of the 
revolution, we must also raise the question: Who are the allies of 
the proletariat in this revolution? 

It has two allies: first, the broad mass of the semi-proletarian 



LETTERS FROM AFAR i 35 

and, partly, the petty peasant population of Russia, numbering 
scores of millions and forming the overwhelming majority of the 
population. This great mass needs peace, bread, liberty, land. 
This mass will inevitably be under a certain influence of the 
bourgeoisie, particularly of the petty bourgeoisie, which it re- 
sembles rather closely in its conditions of life, vacillating, as it 
does, between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The cruel lessons 
of the war, which will become all the more cruel as Guchkov, Lvov, 
Miliukov and Co. carry on the war with greater energy, will in- 
evitably push this mass toward the proletariat, compelling it to 
follow the proletariat We must now, taking advantage of the 
freedom under the new regime and of the Soviets of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies, strive, first of all and above all, to enlighten 
and organise this mass. Soviets of Peasants' Deputies, Soviets of 
Agricultural Workers, these are among our most urgent tasks. We 
shall thereby strive not only that the agricultural workers should 
establish special Soviets of their own, but also that the poorest and 
propertyless peasants should organise separately from the well-to-do 
peasants. The special tasks and special forms of the organisation 
urgently needed at present, will be dealt with in another letter. 

The second ally of the Russian proletariat is the proletariat of 
the warring countries and of all countries in general. At present, 
it is to a considerable degree weighed down by the war, and by the 
social-chauvinists who, like Plekhanov, Gvozdev, Potresov in Rus- 
sia, have deserted to the bourgeoisie, but all too often speak in the 
workers' name. The liberation of the workers from their influence 
has progressed with every month of the imperialist war, and the 
Russian Revolution will necessarily accelerate this process tre- 
mendously. 

Hand in hand with these two allies, the proletariat of Russia can 
and will proceed, while utilising the peculiarities of the present 
transition moment, to win, first, a democratic republic and the 
victory of the peasantry over the landlords, then Socialism, which 
alone can give peace, bread, and freedom to the peoples exhausted 
by the war. 

N.LENIN. 

Written March 20, 1917. 

First published in Pravda [Truth]** Nos. 14-15, April 3-4, 1917. 



36 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

SECOND LETTER 

THE NEW GOVERNMENT AND THE PROLETARIAT 

THE most important document at my disposal up to date (March 
21) is the March 16 issue of the English ultra-conservative and 
ultra-bourgeois newspaper, Times, which contains a summary of the 
news dealing with the revolution in Russia. A source more favour- 
ably expressing it mildly inclined to the government of Guchkov 
and Miliukov, than this paper, would, of course, be difficult to find. 

Reporting from Petrograd on Wednesday, March 14, when there 
was in existence only the first Provisional Government, i. e., the 
Executive Committee of the Duma 25 composed of 13 men 26 with 
Rodzianko at their head, and including, as the paper says, two 
"Socialists," Kerensky and Chkheidze, the Times correspondent 
writes: 

"A group of 22 elected members of the Upper House [State Council] 2r 
including M. Guchkov, M. Stakhovich, Prince Trubetskoy, and Professors 
Vassiliev, Grimm, and Vernadsky, yesterday addressed a telegram to the 
Tsar," in which they implored him to save "the dynasty," etc., etc., by 
convoking the Duma and by naming some one who enjoys the "confidence 
of the nation** to head the government. "What the Emperor may decide 
to do on his arrival to-day is unknown at the hour of telegraphing, but one 
thing is quite certain. Unless His Majesty immediately complies with the 
wishes of the most moderate elements among his loyal subjects, the influence at 
present exercised by the Provisional Committee of the Imperial Duma will 
pass wholesale into the hands of the Socialists, who want to see a republic 
established, but who are unable to institute any kind of orderly government 
and would inevitably precipitate the country into anarchy within and dis- 
aster without." 

How statesmanlike, wise, and clear! How well the English sym- 
pathiser (if not the leader) of the Guchkovs and the Miliukovs 
understands the interrelation of class forces and interests! "The 
most moderate elements among his loyal subjects," . e., the 
monarchist landowners and capitalists, want to gain power, because 
they realise perfectly well that otherwise "influence" will pass into 
the hands of the "Socialists." Why into the hands of the "Social- 
ists," and not into any other hands? Because the English Guch- 
kovite sees clearly that there is no other social force in the political 
arena and that there can be none. The revolution was made by the 
proletariat. The proletariat displayed heroism; it shed its blood; 
it swept with it the large masses of the toiling and very poor sec- 



LETTERS FROM AFAR n 37 

tions of the population; it demands bread, peace, and freedom; it 
demands a republic; it sympathises with Socialism. At the same 
time a handful of landowners and capitalists headed by the Guch- 
kovs and Miliukovs wishes to delude the will and the aspirations of 
the overwhelming majority; it wishes to make a deal with the 
disappearing monarchy, to sustain and save it. Appoint Lvov and 
Guchkov, Your Majesty, and we will support the monarchy against 
the people. This is the whole meaning and essence of the new 
government's policy! 

But how do they propose to justify this deception, this fooling of 
the people, this violation of the will of the vast majority of the 
population? 

By using the old and ever new method of the bourgeoisie, by 
maligning the people. Thus the English Guchkovite maligns and 
vilifies, spurts and sputters: "anarchy within and disaster without," 
no "orderly government" ! ! 

You are wrong, my worthy Guchkovite! The workers want a 
republic, which is a much more "orderly" government than a 
monarchy. What assurance have the people that a second Romanov 
will not establish a second Rasputin? It is the prolongation of the 
war, it is the new government, that carries with it the threat of 
disaster. Only a proletarian republic, supported by the village 
workers and by the poorest section of the urban and rural popula- 
tion, can insure peace, bread, order, and freedom. 

These outcries against anarchy are simply meant to cover up the 
selfish purposes of the capitalists, who are intent on enriching them- 
selves through the war and war loans, who are intent on restoring 
the monarchy against the interests of the people. 

"... Yesterday, 5 * continues the correspondent, * e the Social-Democratic 
Party issued a proclamation of a most seditious character, which was spread 
broadcast throughout the city. They are mere doctrinaires, but their power 
for mischief is enormous at a time like the present. M. Kerensky and M. 
Chkheidze, who realise that without the support of the officers and the more 
moderate elements of the people they cannot hope to avoid anarchy, have to 
reckon with their less prudent associates, and are insensibly driven to 
take up an attitude which complicates the task of the Provisional Committee." 

Oh, great English Guchkovite diplomat! How "imprudently" 
you have babbled out the truth! 

The "Social-Democratic Party" and the "less prudent associates," 
with whom Kerensky and Chkheidze are forced "to reckon," are 
evidently the Central or the Petrograd Committee of our party that 



38 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

was reconstructed by the conference of January, 1912 ; 28 they are 
those very "Bolsheviks" whom the bourgeoisie always denounces as 
"doctrinaires" for being faithful to their "doctrine," i. e. 9 to the 
tenets, the principles, the teachings, the purposes of Socialism. 
Clearly, the English Guchkovite denounces as seditious and doc- 
trinaire the appeal and conduct of our party because it urges the 
masses to fight for a republic, for peace, for a complete destruction 
of the tsarist monarchy, for bread for the people. 

Bread for the people and peace, that is sedition; ministerial 
places for Guchkov and Miliukov, that is "order." Old, familiar 
talk! 

Now what are the tactics of Kerensky and Chkheidze, as charac- 
terised by the English Guchkovite? 

They are vacillating. On the one hand, the Guchkovite praises 
them. They, he claims, "realise" (good boys! clever boys!) that 
without the "support" of the officers and the more moderate ele- 
jnents of the people they cannot hope to avoid anarchy (and here 
we have been assuming, in accordance with our doctrine, with our 
Socialist teachings, that it is the capitalists who are forcing anarchy 
and wars upon human society, and that only the passing of all 
political power into the hands of the proletariat and the poorest 
elements of the people can rid us of wars, anarchy, hunger!). On 
the other hand, he complains, they "have to reckon with their less 
prudent associates," i. e., the Bolsheviks, the Russian Social-Demo- 
cratic Labour Party, reconstructed and united by the Central Com- 
mittee. 

But what force is it that "drives" Kerensky and Chkheidze to 
"reckon" with the Bolshevist party, to which they have never be- 
longed, which they themselves or their literary representatives (the 
Socialists-Revolutionists, the People's Socialists, 29 the Mensheviks 
of the Organisation Committee, 30 etc.) have always denounced, con- 
demned, declared to be an insignificant underground group, a sect 
of doctrinaires, etc.? 

When and where was it ever seen that politicians who have not 
lost their senses should, in times of revolution, in times of action 
of the masses, be swayed by "doctrinaires"? 

The poor English Guchkovite got completely lost. Unable to 
fathom the situation, he could not tell a complete lie nor the whole 
truth, and succeeded only in betraying himself. 
Kerensky and Chkheidze were forced to reckon with the Social- 



LETTERS FROM AFAR n 39 

Democratic Party of the Central Committee 31 because of the in- 
fluence it exercises on the proletariat, the masses. Despite the 
arrest and the exile to Siberia of our Deputies in 1914, despite 
the severest persecutions and arrests which the Petrograd Com- 
mittee had suffered throughout the war for its underground activity 
against war and against tsarism, our party was found with the 
masses, with the revolutionary proletariat. 

The English say that facts are stubborn things. May we re- 
mind our most worthy English Guchkovite of this saying? The fact 
that during the great days of the revolution our party was leading or 
at least bravely helping the Petrograd workers had to be admitted 
by the English Guchkovite himself. He also had to admit the fact 
that Kerensky and Chkheidze are vacillating between the bour- 
geoisie and the proletariat. The followers of Gvozdev, the "de- 
fencists," i. e., the social-chauvinists, L e., the defenders of the 
imperialist, predatory war, are at the present moment in full agree- 
ment with the bourgeoisie. Kerensky, having become a member 
of the Cabinet, i. e., of the second Provisional Government, has 
also completely joined the bourgeoisie. Chkheidze has not fol- 
lowed; he is still wavering between the Provisional Government of 
the bourgeoisie, of the Guchkovs and the Miliukovs, and the "pro- 
visional government" of the proletariat and the poorest masses of 
the people, the Soviet of Workers' Deputies and the Russian Social- 
Democratic Labour Party united by the Central Committee. 

It follows, therefore, that the revolution has proved that we were 
right when we most persistently called upon the workers to realise 
clearly the class distinction between the major parties and major 
tendencies both in the labour movement and among the petty- 
bourgeoisie, when, for instance, we wrote in No. 47 of the Geneva 
Social-Democrat, on October 13, 1915, that is, almost a year and 
a half ago: 

As heretofore we regard as permissible the participation of Social-Demo- 
crats in a provisional revolutionary government together with the democratic 
groups of the petty-bourgeoisie, but not together with the revolutionists- 
chauvinists. We consider as revolutionists-chauvinists those who want a vic- 
tory over tsarism in order to win a victory over Germany, in order to loot 
other countries, in order to strengthen the rule of the Great Russians over the 
other peoples of Russia, etc. The basis for revolutionary chauvinism is the 
class position of the petty-bourgeoisie, which is always vacillating between 
the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. To-day it vacillates f between chauvinism 
(which prevents it from being consistently revolutionary even as regards a 
democratic republic) and proletarian internationalism. The present political 



40 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

exponents of the petty-bourgeoisie in Russia are the Trudoviks, 32 the So- 
cialists-Revolutionists, the Naska Zaria (the present .Die/0), 33 Chkheidze's 
faction, the Organisation Committee, Mr. Plekhanov, etc. If the revolutionists- 
chauvinists were to win power in Russia, we would be against the defence 
of their "fatherland" in the present war. Our slogan is oppose the chau- 
vinists, even if they be revolutionists and republicans, oppose them and 
demand the union of the international proletariat for a Socialist revolution. 

But let us return to the English Guchkovite. 

"... The Provisional Committee of the Imperial Duma," he continues, 
"appreciating the dangers ahead, have purposely refrained from carrying 
out the original intention of arresting Ministers, although they could have 
done so yesterday without the slightest difficulty. The door is thus left 
open for negotiations, thanks to which we" ("we," i. e., English finance capital 
and imperialism) "may obtain all the benefits of the new regime without 
passing through the dread ordeal of the Commune and the anarchy of 
civil war." 

The Guchkovites were for civil war for their own benefit; they 
are against civil war for the people's benefit, i. e. 9 for that of the 
actual majority of toilers. 

"... The relations between the Provisional Committee of the Duma, 
which represents the whole nation" (this about the committee of the land- 
owners* and capitalists* Fourth Duma) "and the Council of "Workers' Deputies, 
representing purely class interests" (the language of a diplomat who has heard 
in passing some learned words and is intent on concealing that the Soviet 
of Workers' Deputies represents the proletariat and the impoverished masses, 
i. e^ nine-tenths of the population) "but in the crisis like the present wielding 
enormous power, have aroused no small misgivings among reasonable men 
regarding the possibility of a conflict between them the results of which 
might be too terrible to describe." 

"Happily this danger has been averted, at least for the present" (note this 
"at least'*!) "thanks to the influence of Mr. Kerensky, a young lawyer of 
much oratorical ability, who clearly realises" (in contradistinction to Chkheidze 
who also "realised" but, in the opinion of the Guchkovite, evidently less 
clearly?) "the necessity of working with the Committee in the interests of his 
labour constituency" (i. e^ to flirt with labour in order to pull the labour 
vote). "A satisfactory arrangement 3 * was concluded to-day" (Wednesday, 
March 14), "whereby all unnecessary friction will be avoided." 

What the arrangement was, whether it was with the whole Soviet 
of Workers' Deputies, what its conditions are, we do not know. 
The most important thing is now passed over in complete silence 
by the English Guchkovite. Certainly! It is disadvantageous to 
the bourgeoisie to make these conditions clear, precise, and public, 
for then it may prove more difficult to violate them! 

The foregoing lines had already been written when I chanced 
upon the following very important news. First, the text of the 



LETTERS FROM AFAR n 41 

proclamation issued by the Soviet of Workers' Deputies wherein 
it promises its "support" to the new government, 35 published by 
the ultra-conservative and ultra-bourgeois Paris newspaper Temps 
(March 20) ; secondly, excerpts from the speech delivered by 
Skobelev on March 14 before the Imperial Duma, reprinted in one 
of the Zurich newspapers (Neue Zuricher Zeitung, first noon edi- 
tion, March 21) 36 from a report published in a Berlin newspaper 
(National-Zeitung) , 87 

The proclamation issued by the Soviet of Workers' Deputies, if 
the text has not been distorted by the French imperialists, is a most 
remarkable document. It proves that the Petrograd proletariat, at 
the time it issued its proclamation, at any rate, was under the 
preponderant influence of the petty-bourgeois politicians. You will 
recall that I consider gentlemen of the type of Kerensky and 
Chkheidze to be politicians of the above-mentioned type. 

In the proclamation we find two political ideas and two cor- 
responding slogans: 

First, the proclamation states that the government (the new one) 
consists of "moderate elements." A strange characterisation, utterly 
inadequate, and of a purely liberal, non-Marxian nature. I, too, 
am ready to admit that in a certain sense, just in which sense 
will be demonstrated in my next letter, any government at present, 
i. e. 9 after the completion of the first stage of the revolution, is 
bound to be "moderate." But under no circumstances must we con- 
ceal from ourselves and from the people the fact that this government 
wishes to prolong the imperialist war, that it is the agent of English 
capital, that it wants to restore the monarchy, and to strengthen 
the rule of the landowners and capitalists. 

The proclamation declares that every democrat must "support" 
the new government and that the Soviet of Workers' Deputies re- 
quests and authorises Kerensky to participate in the Provisional 
Government. The conditions are as follows: the promised reforms 
must be carried out while the war still lasts; freedom of "cultural" 
(only cultural?) development of nationalities (a purely Cadet and 
poverty-stricken programme) must be guaranteed; and a special 
committee for supervising the activities of the Provisional Govern- 
ment, the committee to consist of members of the Soviet of Workers* 
Deputies and of the "military," must be formed. 88 

The Supervising Committee, which really embodies the ideas 
and slogans of second order, we shall separately discuss later. 



42 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

As for the appointment of Kerensky, the Russian Louis Blanc, 
and the call to support the new government, these steps are a classic 
example of betrayal of the cause of the revolution and the cause of 
the proletariat. It was betrayals of precisely the same kind that 
destroyed a number of revolutions of the nineteenth century ir- 
respective of how much the adherents of such a policy were sincere 
and devoted to Socialism. 

The proletariat cannot and must not support a war government, 
a government pledged to restore the monarchy. In order to fight 
against reaction, to forestall the possible and probable attempts of 
the Romanovs and their friends to restore the monarchy and to 
gather a counter-revolutionary army, it is necessary not at all to 
support Guchkov, but to organise, develop, and strengthen a pro- 
letarian militia, to arm the people under the direction of the 
proletariat. Without this chief, basic, and radical measure, one 
cannot hope either to offer serious resistance to the restoration of 
the monarchy and to the attempts at taking away or curtailing the 
promised liberties, or to take a firm step on the road that leads 
to bread, peace, and freedom. 

If Chkheidze, who together with Kerensky was a member of the 
first Provisional Government (the Duma Committee of thirteen), 
has not entered the second Provisional Government because of his 
loyalty to principles similar to those indicated above, then all honour 
to him. This should be frankly stated. Unfortunately, such an 
interpretation contradicts other facts, and most of all it contradicts 
the speech delivered by Skobelev who has always worked hand 
in hand with Chkheidze. 

If we are to believe the above-named source, Skobelev said that 
the "social (evidently, Social-Democratic?) group and the work- 
ers are quite remote from the aims of the Provisional Govern- 
ment," that the workers demand peace, that, if the war is continued, 
disaster in the spring is inevitable, that "the workers have entered 
into a temporary truce (eine vorlaufige Wafenjreundschaft) with 
society (liberal society), although their political aims are as re- 
mote from those of society as heaven is from earth," and that the 
"liberals must renounce their senseless (unsinnige) war aims," etc. 

This speech is a sample of what we designated above, in our 
quotation from the Social-Democrat, as "vacillation" between the 
bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Liberals, as long as they remain 
liberals, cannot "renounce" the "senseless" war aims, particularly 



LETTERS FROM AFAR n 43 

since these war aims are not determined by the liberals alone, but 
by Anglo-French finance capital, a world power measured by hun- 
dreds of billions. It is not the liberals whom one must "persuade," 
but it is the workers to whom one must explain why the liberals 
are perplexed, why they are bound hand and foot, why they conceal 
both the treaties concluded between tsarism and England, etc., and 
the arrangements made between Russian and Anglo-French capital, 
etc., etc. 

When Skobelev tells us that the workers have entered into some 
kind of an agreement with the liberal groups, and does not protest 
against it, and does not explain to the workers, from the Duma trib- 
une, its harmfulness to them, he thereby approves of this agree- 
ment, and this should not have been done. 

Skobelev's direct or indirect, expressed or tacit, approval of the 
agreement entered into by the Soviet of Workers* Deputies with 
the Provisional Government, is a swing to the side of the bourgeoisie. 
Skobelev's statement that the workers demand peace, that their aims 
are as remote from those of the liberals as heaven is from earth, is 
a swing to the side of the proletariat. 

Purely proletarian, truly revolutionary, thoroughly sound in its 
conception is the second political idea of the proclamation of the 
Soviet of Workers' Deputies now under our consideration, namely, 
the idea of creating a "Supervising Committee" (I do not know 
whether this is the correct name in Russian, it is a free translation 
from the French), namely, the idea of proletarian and soldier 
supervision over the actions of the Provisional Government. 

That's the thing! This is worthy of workers who have shed their 
blood for freedom, for peace, and for bread for the people! This 
is a real step leading toward real guarantees against tsarism, against 
monarchy, as well as against the monarchists Guchkov, Lvov and 
Co.! This is a sign that the Russian proletariat, regardless of 
everything, has gone ahead in comparison with the French pro- 
letariat of 1848, which had "invested" Louis Blanc with full power! 
This -is proof that the instinct and the intelligence of the proletarian 
masses are not satisfied with declamations, exclamations, promises 
of reforms and liberties, are not satisfied with having a "Minister 
authorised by the workers," or with like tinsel show, but that 
they seek support where support really is, in the armed masses 
of the population organised and led by the proletariat, the class- 
conscious workers. 



44 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

This is a step along the right track, but only the first step. 
If the "Supervising Committee" remains a purely parliamentary 
institution, of a purely political nature, i. e. 9 if it remains a com- 
mission that will "interrogate" the Provisional Government and 
receive answers from it, then it is nothing but a toy, then it does 
not amount to anything. 

If, however, it leads toward the creation, immediately and un- 
failingly, of a really popular, really proletarian militia or workers' 
armed force, composed of men and women, who will not merely take 
the place of the police that has been removed and killed off, but 
render impossible the restoration of such a police by any monarchi- 
cal-constitutional or democratic-republican government, either in 
Petrograd or anywhere else in Russia, then the advanced Russian 
workers are actually moving toward new and great victories, toward 
putting an end to the war, toward the actual realisation of the 
slogan, which, according to the newspapers, was displayed on the 
banners of the cavalry regiments in Petrograd when they were 
demonstrating on the square in front of the Imperial Duma: 
"Long Live the Socialist Republics of All Countries!" 
My ideas concerning this proletarian militia will be presented 
in the next letter. 

In it I shall try to show, on the one hand, that the creation of 
a popular militia under the leadership of the workers is the correct 
slogan of the day, meeting the tactical requirements of the unique 
transition period which the Russian Revolution (and the world 
revolution) is now going through; on the other hand, that in order 
to insure the success of such a workers' militia, it must, first, be a 
national, a universal mass militia, embracing the entire able-bodied 
population of both sexes; second, it must proceed to combine not 
only police functions pure and simple, but also general govern- 
mental functions with military ones, and with control over social 
production and distribution of products. 

N. LENIN. 

Zurich, March 22, 1917. 

P.S. I forgot to date the preceding letter as of March 20, 1917. 

Fkst published from manuscript in the Lenin Collection, Vol. II, 1924. 



LETTERS FROM AFAR in 45 

THIRD LETTER 

ON PROLETARIAN MILITIA 

THE conclusion which I drew yesterday regarding the vacillating 
tactics of Chkheidze has been fully confirmed to-day, March 23, 
by two documents. The first is a despatch from Stockholm to the 
Frankfurter Zeitung 39 quoting from the manifesto of the Central 
Committee of our party, the R.S.-D.L.P., in Petrograd. 40 This docu- 
ment contains not a word about either the support of the Guchkov 
government or its overthrow: the workers and the soldiers are 
called upon to organise around the Soviet of Workers' Deputies, 
to elect representatives to the Soviet in order to fight against 
tsarism, for a republic, for an eight-hour working day, for the con- 
fiscation of landowners' lands and grain reserves, and chiefly for the 
termination of the plunderers' war. Particularly important and 
particularly timely is the very correct idea of our C.C. that to 
obtain peace, relations must be established among the proletarians 
of all the warring countries. 

To hope for peace from the negotiations and communications of 
the bourgeois governments would be self-deception as well as de- 
ception of the people. 

The second document is another despatch from Stockholm to an- 
other German paper (Vossische Zeitung)^ reporting a joint con- 
ference of the Chkheidze Duma fraction, the Trudoviks (Arbeiter- 
fraktion?) and the representatives of fifteen labour unions held on 
March 15, and telling of the proclamation issued on the following 
day. Of the eleven points in this proclamation, the telegram quotes 
only three: the first, demanding a republic; the seventh, demanding 
peace and the immediate beginning of peace negotiations; and the 
third, demanding "an adequate representation of the Russian work- 
ing class in the government." 

If this last point is quoted correctly, then I understand why the 
bourgeoisie lauds Chkheidze, I understand why to the praise by 
the English Guchkovites in the Times, which I quoted above, there 
has now been added the praise by the French Guchkovites in 
the Temps. This organ of French millionaires and imperialists 
writes on March 22: "The leaders of the workers' parties, and 
especially Mr. Chkheidze, exert all their influence to temper the 
demands of the working classes." 



46 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

Indeed, the demand for workers' "participation" in the Guchkov- 
Miliukov government is a theoretical and political absurdity; to 
participate as a minority would mean to be a pawn; to participate 
"on equal terms" is impossible, for one cannot reconcile the demand 
to continue the war with the demand to conclude an armistice and 
open peace negotiations; to "participate" as a majority, one must 
have power to overthrow the Guchkov-Miliukov government. In 
practice, to demand "participation" is to pursue the worst kind of 
Louis Blancism, i. e., to forget the class struggle and its actual 
conditions, to be allured by empty, high-sounding phrases, to 
spread illusions among the workers, to waste, in negotiations with 
Miliukov and Kerensky, precious time which should be used for 
creating an actual class force, a revolutionary force, a proletarian 
militia capable of inspiring confidence in all the poorest strata of 
the population which are an overwhelming majority, and of help- 
ing them to organise, helping them to fight for bread, for peace, and 
for freedom. 

This error in the proclamation of Chkheidze and his group (I 
do not speak of the party of the O.C., the Organisation Committee, 
for in the sources at my disposal there is no mention of the O.C.) 
this error seems the more strange when we consider that at the 
conference of March 15, Skobelev, Chkheidze's closest ideological 
ally, said, according to the newspapers: "Russia is on the eve of a 
second, a real (wirklichen) revolution." 

Now this is a truth from which Skobelev and Chkheidze have 
failed to make any practical deductions. I cannot judge from 
here, my accursed exile, how near the second revolution is. Sko- 
belev, who is there on the spot, can see it better. I therefore do 
not occupy myself with questions for the answer to which I have 
no concrete data and can have none. I simply emphasise the fact 
that a "stranger," i. e. 9 one who does not belong to our party, 
Skobelev, confirms the very conclusion that I arrived at in the 
first letter, namely: that the March revolution was only the first 
stage of the revolution. Russia is going through a unique his- 
torical period of transition from the first to the next stage of the 
revolution or, as Skobelev expresses it, to "a second revolution." 

If we want to be Marxists and to learn from the experience of 
the revolutions the world over, we must try to understand just 
wherein lies the uniqueness of this transition period, and what are 
the tactics that follow from its objective peculiarities. 



LETTERS FROM AFAR m 47 

The uniqueness of the situation lies in the fact that the Gucbkov- 
Miliukov government has won the first victory with unusual ease be- 
cause of the three following main circumstances: 1. The help received 
from Anglo-French finance capital and its agents; 2. The help re- 
ceived from the upper layers of the army; 3. The fact that the 
entire Russian bourgeoisie had been organised in zemstvo and city 
institutions, in the Imperial Duma, in the war industries commit- 
tees, etc. 

The Guchkov government finds itself between the upper and 
nether millstones. Bound by capitalist interests, it is compelled to 
strive to prolong the predatory war for plunder, to protect the 
monstrous profits of the capitalists and the landlords, to restore 
the monarchy. Bound by its revolutionary origin and the necessity 
of an abrupt change from tsarism to democracy, finding itself under 
the pressure of the hungry masses that clamour for peace, the 
government is forced to lie, to shift about, to procrastinate, to make 
as many "declarations" and promises as possible (promises are the 
only things that are very cheap even in an epoch of insanely high 
prices) , and to carry out as few of them as possible, to make con- 
cessions with one hand, and to withdraw them with the other. 

Under certain conditions, if circumstances are most favourable to 
it, the new government, relying on the organising abilities of the 
entire Russian bourgeoisie and the bourgeois intelligentsia, may 
temporarily avert the final crash. But even under such conditions 
it cannot escape the crash altogether, for it is impossible to escape 
the claws of that terrible monster, begotten by world-capitalism 
the imperialist war and famine, without abandoning the whole 
basis of bourgeois relations, without resorting to revolutionary 
measures, without appealing to the greatest historical heroism of 
the Russian and the world proletariat. 

Hence the conclusion: We shall not be able to overthrow the new 
government with one stroke or, should we be able to do so (in 
revolutionary times the limits of the possible are increased a thou- 
sandfold), we could not retain power, unless we met the splendid 
organisation of the entire Russian bourgeoisie and the entire bour- 
geois intelligentsia with an organisation of the proletariat just as 
splendid, leading the vast mass of the city and country poor, the 
semi-proletarians and the petty proprietors. 

It matters little whether the "second revolution" has already 
broken out in Petrograd (I have stated that it would be absurd to 



BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 



attempt to estimate from abroad the actual tempo of its growth), 
whether it has been postponed for a time, or whether it has begun in 
isolated localities in Russia (there are some indications that this 
is the case) in any case the slogan of the hour right now, on the 
eve of the revolution, during the revolution, and on the day after 
the revolution, must be proletarian organisation. 

Comrade- workers! Yesterday you displayed wonders of prole- 
tarian heroism when you overthrew the tsarist monarchy. Sooner or 
later (perhaps even now, while I am writing these lines) you will 
inevitably be called upon again to display wonders of similar 
heroism in overthrowing the power of the landowners and the capi- 
talists who are waging the imperialist war. But you will not be 
able to win a permanent victory in this forthcoming "true" revolu- 
tion, unless you display wonders of proletarian organisation! 

The slogan of the hour is organisation. But organisation in itself 
does not mean much, because, on the one hand, organisation is 
always necessary, and, hence, the mere insistence on "the organisa- 
tion of the masses" does not yet clarify anything, and because, on 
the other hand, he who contents himself with organisation only is 
merely echoing the views of the liberals; for the liberals, to 
strengthen their rule, desire nothing better than to have the workers 
refuse to go beyond the usual "legal" forms of organisation (from 
the point of view of "normal" bourgeois society), i. e., to have 
them merely become members of their party, their trade union, their 
co-operative society, etc., etc. 

The workers, guided by their class instinct, have realised that in 
revolutionary times they need an entirely different organisation, of 
a type above the ordinary. They have taken the right attitude sug- 
gested by the experience of our revolution of 1905 and by the Paris 
Commune of 1871 : they have created a Soviet of Workers 9 Deputies 9 
they have set out to develop it, widen and strengthen it, by attract- 
ing to it representatives of the soldiers and no doubt of the hired 
agricultural workers, as well as (in one form or another) of the 
entire poor section of the peasantry. 

To create similar organisations in all the localities of Russia 
without exception, for all the trades and layers of the proletarian 
and semi-proletarian population without exception, L e. 9 for all the 
toilers and the exploited (to use an expression that is less exact 
from the point of view of economics but more popular) , is our most 
important and most urgent task. I will note right here that to the 



LETTERS FROM AFAR in 49 

peasant masses our party (whose specific role in the proletarian 
organisations of the new type I shall have occasion to discuss in 
one of the forthcoming letters) must recommend with special 
emphasis the organisation of Soviets of hired workers and petty 
agriculturists, such as do not sell their grain, those Soviets to have 
no connection with the prosperous peasants, otherwise it will be 
impossible to pursue a true proletarian policy, in a general sense,* 
nor will it be possible correctly to approach the most important 
practical question involving the life and death of millions of people, 
i. e. 9 the question of an equitable assessment of food deliveries, of 
increasing its production, etc. 

The question, then, is: What is to be the work of the Soviets of 
Workers' Deputies? We repeat what we once said in No. 47 of 
the Geneva Social-Democrat (October 13, 1915) : 'They must be 
regarded as organs of insurrection, as organs of revolutionary 
power." 

This theoretical formula, derived from the experience of the 
Commune of 1871 and of the Russian Revolution of 1905, must be 
elucidated and concretely developed on the basis of the practical 
experience gained at this very stage of this very revolution in Russia. 

We need revolutionary power , we need (for a certain period of 
transition) the state. Therein we differ from the Anarchists. The 
difference between revolutionary Marxists and Anarchists lies not 
only in the fact that the former stand for huge, centralised, com- 
munist production, while the latter are for decentralised, small-scale 
production. No, the difference as to government authority and the 
state consists in this, that we stand for the revolutionary utilisation 
of revolutionary forms of the state in our struggle for Socialism, 
while the Anarchists are against it 

We need the state. But we need none of those types of state 
varying from a constitutional monarchy to the most democratic 
republic which the bourgeoisie has established everywhere. And 
herein lies the difference between us and the opportunists and Kaut- 
skians of the old, decaying Socialist parties who have distorted or 

* There will now develop in the village a struggle for the petty, and partly 
the middle, peasantry, "the landowners, basing themselves on the well-to-do 
peasants, will lead them to submission to the bourgeoisie. We, basing our- 
selves on the hired agricultural workers and poor peasants, must lead them 
to the closest possible alliance with the proletariat of the cities. 



50 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

forgotten the lessons of the Paris Commune and the analysis of these 
lessons by Marx and Engels.* 

We need the state, but not the kind needed by the bourgeoisie, 
with organs of power in the form of police, army, bureaucracy, 
distinct from and opposed to the people. All bourgeois revolutions 
have merely perfected this government apparatus, have merely 
transferred it from one party to another. 

The proletariat, however, if it wants to preserve the gains of 
the present revolution and to proceed further to win peace, bread, 
and freedom, must "destroy," to use Marx's word, this "ready- 
made" state machinery, and must replace it by another one, merging 
the police, the army, and the bureaucracy with the universally 
armed people. Advancing along the road indicated by the experi- 
ence of the Paris Commune of 1871 and the Russian Revolution of 
1905, the proletariat must organise and arm all the poorest and 
most exploited sections of the population, so that they themselves 
may take into their own hands all the organs of state power, that 
they themselves may constitute these organs. 

The workers of Russia have already, with the very first stage 
of the first revolution, March, 1917, entered on this course. The 
whole problem now is to understand clearly the nature of this new 
course and courageously, firmly, and persistently, to continue on it. 
The Anglo-French and the Russian capitalists wanted "only" to 
displace, or merely to "scare," Nicholas II, leaving the old ma- 
chinery of the state the police, the army, the bureaucracy intact. 
The workers have gone further; they have smashed it. And now 
not only the Anglo-French, but even the German capitalists howl with 
rage and horror when they see Russian soldiers shooting their 
officers, some of whom were even supporters of Guchkov and Miliu- 
kov, as Admiral Nepenin, for example. 

I have said that the workers have smashed the old state ma- 
chinery. To be more precise: They have begun to smash it. 
Let us take a concrete example. 

The police of Petrograd and many other places have been partly 
killed off, and partly removed. The Guchkov-Miliukov government 

* In one of the forthcoming letters or in a special article I shall dwell 
in detail on this analysis as given particularly in Marx's Civil War in France, 
in Engels' preface to the third edition of that work, in Marx's letter dated 
April 12, 1871, and in Engel's letters of March 18-28, 1875, also on the 
complete distortion of Marxism by Kautsky in his 1912 polemics against 
Pannekoek relative to the so-called "destruction of the state." 



LETTERS FROM AFAR m 51 

will not be able to restore the monarchy, nor even to retain power, 
unless it re-establishes the police as an organisation of armed men 
separated from and opposed to the people and under the command 
of the bourgeoisie. This is as clear as the clearest day. 

On the other hand, the new government must reckon with the 
revolutionary masses, must humour them with half-concessions and 
promises, trying to gain time. Hence it agrees to half -measures: it 
institutes a "people's militia" with elected officers (this sounds ter- 
ribly imposing, terribly democratic, revolutionary, and beautiful!). 
But . . . but . . . first of all, it places the militia under the con- 
trol of the local zemstvo and city organs of self-government, L e., 
under the control of landowners and capitalists elected under the 
laws of Nicholas the Bloody and Stolypin the Hangman! ! Secondly, 
though it calls it the "people's" militia to throw dust into the eyes 
of the "people," it does not, as a matter of fact call the people for 
universal service in this militia, nor does it compel the bosses and 
the capitalists to pay their employees the usual wage for the hours 
and the days they devote to public service, i. e. 9 to the militia. 

There is where the main trick is. That is how the landowner 
and capitalist government of the Guchkovs and Miliukovs achieves 
its aim of keeping the "people's militia" on paper, while in reality 
it is quietly and step by step organising a bourgeois militia hostile 
to the people, first of "8,000 students and professors" (as the for- 
eign press describes the present militia in Petrograd) which is 
obviously a mere toy! then, gradually, of the old and the new 
police. 

Do not permit the re-establishment of the police! Do not let go 
the local government organs! Create a really universal militia, led 
by the proletariat! This is the task of the day, this is the slogan 
of the present hour, equally in accord with the correctly under- 
stood requirements of the further development of the class struggle, 
the further course of the revolution, and with the democratic 
instinct of every worker, every peasant, every toiler, every one who 
is exploited, who cannot but hate the police, the constables, the 
command of landowners and capitalists over armed men who wield 
power over the people. 

What kind of police do they need, these Guchkovs and Miliukovs, 
these landowners and capitalists? The same kind that existed dur- 
ing the tsarist monarchy. Following very brief revolutionary 
periods, all the bourgeois and bourgeois-democratic republics of 



52 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

the world organised or re-established precisely that kind of police, 
a special organisation of armed men, separated from and opposed to 
the people, and in one way or another subordinated to the bour- 
geoisie. 

What kind of militia do we need, we, the proletariat, all the 
toilers? A real people's militia, L e. 9 first of all, one that consists 
of the entire population, of all the adult citizens of both sexes; 
secondly, one that combines the functions of a people's army with 
those of the police, and with the functions of the main and funda- 
mental organ of the state system and the state administration. 

To give more concreteness to these propositions, let us try a 
schematic example. Needless to say, the idea of laying out any 
"plan" for a proletarian militia would be absurd: when the work- 
ers, and all the people as a real mass, take up this task in a prac- 
tical way, they will work it out and secure it a hundred times 
better than any theoretician can propose. I am not offering a plan all 
I want is to illustrate my thought. 

Petrograd has a population of about two million, more than half 
of which is between the ages of 15 and 65. Let us take a half 
one million. Let us deduct one-fourth to allow for the sick or 
other instances where people cannot be engaged in public service 
for a valid reason. There still remain 750,000 persons, who, work- 
ing in the militia one day out of every fifteen (and continuing to 
receive payment from their employers for this time) , would make up 
an army of 50,000 people. 

This is the type of "state" that we need! 

This is the kind of militia that would be, in deed, and not only 
in name, a "people's militia." 

This is the road we must follow if we wish to make impossible 
the re-establishment of a special police, or a special army, separated 
from the people. 

Such a militia would, in ninety-five cases out of a hundred, be 
composed of workers and peasants, and would express the real 
intelligence and the will, the strength and the authority of the 
overwhelming majority of the people. Such a militia would actually 
arm and give military training to the people at large, thus making 
sure, in a manner not employed by Guchkov, nor Miliukov, against 
all attempts to re-establish reaction, against all efforts of the tsarist 
agents. Such a militia would be the executive organ of the "Soviets 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies," it would enjoy the full respect 



LETTERS FROM AFAR in 53 

and confidence of the population, because it would, itself, be an 
organisation of the entire population. Such a militia would change 
democracy from a pretty signboard, hiding the enslavement and 
deception of the people by the capitalists, into a real means for 
educating the masses so that they might be able to take part in all 
the affairs of the state. Such a militia would draw the youngsters 
into political life, training them not only by word, but by deed and 
work. Such a militia would develop those functions which belong, 
to use learned terms, to the welfare police, sanitary supervision, etc., 
by drawing into such activities all the adult women without excep- 
tion. Without drawing the women into social service, into the 
militia, into political life, without tearing the women away from 
the stupefying domestic and kitchen atmosphere it is impossible to 
secure real freedom, it is impossible to build a democracy, let alone 
Socialism. 

Such a militia would be a proletarian militia, because the in- 
dustrial and the city workers would just as naturally and inevitably 
assume in it the leadership of the masses of the poor, as naturally 
and inevitably as they took the leading position in all the revolu- 
tionary struggles of the people in the years 1905-1907, and in 
1917. 

Such a militia would guarantee absolute order and a comradely 
discipline practiced with enthusiasm. At the same time, it would 
afford a means of struggling in a real democratic manner against 
the crisis through which all the warring nations are now passing; 
it would make possible the regular and prompt assessment of food 
and other supply levies, the establishment of "universal labour 
duty" which the French now call "civil mobilisation" and the Ger- 
mans "obligatory civil service," and without which, as has been 
demonstrated, it is impossible to heal the wounds that were and 
are being inflicted by this predatory and horrible war. 

Has the proletariat of Russia shed its blood only to receive 
luxurious promises of mere political democratic reforms? Will it 
not demand and make sure that every toiler should see and feel a 
certain improvement in his life right now? That every family 
should have sufficient bread? That every child should have a bottle 
of good milk, and that no adult in a rich family should dare take 
extra milk until all the children are supplied? That the palaces 
and luxurious homes left by the Tsar and the aristocracy should 
not stand idle but should provide shelter to the homeless and the 



54 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

destitute? What other organisation except a universal people's 
militia with women participating on a par with the men can effect 
these measures? 

Such measures do not yet constitute Socialism. They deal with 
distribution of consumption, not with the reorganisation of indus- 
try. They do not yet constitute the "dictatorship of the proletariat," 
but merely a "revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the pro- 
letariat and the poorest peasantry." Theoretical classification doesn't 
matter now. It would indeed.be a grave error if we tried now to 
fit the complex, urgent, rapidly unfolding practical tasks of the 
revolution into the Procrustean bed of a narrowly conceived 
"theory," instead of regarding theory first of all and above all as 
a guide to action. 

Will the mass of Russian workers have sufficient class-conscious- 
ness, self-discipline and heroism to show "wonders of proletarian 
organisation" after they have displayed wonders of courage, initiative 
and self-sacrifice in direct revolutionary struggle? This we do not 
know, and to make conjectures about it would be idle, for such 
questions are answered only by life itself. 

What we do know definitely and what we must as a party explain 
to the masses is that we have on hand an historic motive power 
of tremendous force that causes an unheard-of crisis, hunger and 
countless miseries. This motive power is the war which the capi- 
talists of both warring camps are waging for predatory purposes. 
This "motive power" has brought a number of the richest, freest, 
and most enlightened nations to the brink of an abyss. It forces 
nations to strain all their strength to the breaking point, it places 
them in an insufferable position, it makes imperative the putting 
into effect not of "theories" (that is out of the question, and Marx 
had repeatedly warned Socialists against this illusion) , but of most 
extreme yet practical measures, because without these extreme 
measures there is death, immediate and indubitable death for millions 
of people through hunger. 

That revolutionary enthusiasm on the part of the most advanced 
class can accomplish much when objective conditions demand ex- 
treme measures from the entire people, need not be argued. This 
aspect of the case is clearly seen and felt by every one in Russia. 

It is important to understand that in revolutionary times the 
objective situation changes as rapidly and as suddenly as life itself. 
We should be able to adjust our tactics and our immediate objec- 



LETTERS FROM AFAR m 55 

tives to the peculiarities of every given situation. Up to March, 
1917, our task was to conduct a bold revolutionary-internationalist 
propaganda, to awaken and call the masses to struggle. In the 
March days there was required the courage of heroic struggle to 
crush tsarism the most immediate foe. We are now going through 
a transition from the first stage of the revolution to the second, 
from a "grapple" with tsarism to a "grapple" with the imperialism 
of Guchkov-Miliukov, of the capitalists and the landowners. Our 
immediate problem is organisation, not in the sense of effecting 
ordinary organisation by ordinary methods, but in the sense of 
drawing large masses of the oppressed classes in unheard-of num- 
bers into the organisation, and of embodying in this organisation 
military, state, and national economic problems. 

The proletariat has approached this unique task and will ap- 
proach it in a variety of ways. In some localities of Russia the 
March revolution has given the proletariat almost full power, in 
others, the proletariat will begin to build up and strengthen the 
proletarian militia perhaps by "usurpation"; in still others, it 
will, probably, work for immediate elections, on the basis of uni- 
versal suffrage, to the city councils and zemstvos, in order to turn 
them into revolutionary centres, etc., until the growth of proletarian 
organisation, the rapprochement of soldiers and workers, the stir- 
ring within the peasantry, the disillusionment of very many about 
the competence of the militarist-imperialist government of Guchkov 
and Miliukov shall have brought nearer the hour when that govern- 
ment will give place to the "government" of the Soviets of Workers* 
Deputies. 

Nor must we forget that right near Petrograd there is one of the 
most advanced, actually republican, countries Finland, a country 
which from 1905 up to 1917, shielded by the revolutionary struggles 
in Russia, has developed a democracy by comparatively peaceful 
means, and has won the majority of its population over to Socialism. 
The Russian proletariat will insure the freedom of the Finnish 
republic, even to the point of separation (there is hardly a Social- 
Democrat who would hesitate on this score now, when the Cadet 
Rodichev is so shamefully haggling in Helsingfors over bits of 
privileges for the Great Russians) , and thus gain the full confidence 
and comradely aid of the Finnish workers for the all-Russian pro- 
letarian cause. In a difficult and great cause errors are unavoidable, 
nor shall we avoid them: the Finnish workers are better organisers, 



56 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

they will help us in this and, in their own way, bring nearer the 
establishment of a Socialist republic. 

Revolutionary victories in Russia itself, quiet organisational suc- 
cesses in Finland shielded by the above victories, the Russian 
workers taking up revolutionary- organisational tasks on a new 
scale, conquest of power by the proletariat and the poorest strata 
of the population, encouraging and developing the Socialist revo- 
lution in the West, this is the path that will lead us to peace and 
Socialism, 

N. LENIN. 

Zurich, March 24, 1917. 

First published from manuscript in the Lenin Collection, Vol. II, 1924. 

FOURTH LETTER 

HOW TO GET PEACE 

I HAVE just read (March 25) the following despatch sent to the 
Neue Ziiricher Zeitung (No. 517, March 24) from Berlin: 

"It is reported from Sweden tliat Maxim Gorki has sent both to 
the government, and to the Executive Committee [of the Soviet] an 
enthusiastically written greeting. He hails the victory of the people 
over the masters of reaction and calls upon all sons of Russia to 
help build the new Russian state edifice. At the same time he calls 
upon the government to crown its work of liberation with the con- 
clusion of peace. It must not be peace at any price, he says; at the 
present moment Russia has less cause to strive for peace at any 
price than she has had at any other time. It must be a peace, he 
says, that would enable Russia to live honourably before the eyes 
of all the other peoples of the earth. Humanity has bled enough; 
the new government would perform the greatest service to Russia 
as well as to the rest of humanity, if it succeeded in bringing about 
an early peace." 

Thus reads the report of Gorki's letter. 

One feels embittered on reading this letter which is permeated with 
ordinary philistine prejudices. The present writer on many occa- 
sions, in meetings with Gorki on the Island of Capri, warned him 
and reproached him for his political errors. Gorki parried these 
reproaches with his inimitably sweet smile and the candid admis- 
sion: "I know that I am a bad Marxist. Moreover, all of us. 



LETTERS FROM AFAR iv 57 

artists, are a bit irresponsible." It is not easy to argue against that. 

Gorki has, no doubt, great artistic talent that has been and "will 
be of great use to the proletarian movement of the world. 

But why should Gorki dabble in politics? 

In my opinion Gorki's letter voices preconceived ideas that are 
exceedingly widespread not only among the petty bourgeoisie, but 
also among a section of the workers under the influence of that 
bourgeoisie. The entire strength of our party, every efEort of the 
class-conscious workers, must be directed toward a stubborn, per- 
sistent, and many-sided fight against these false ideas. 

The tsarist government began and waged the present war as a 
predatory, imperialist war for spoliation, to rob and crush the 
weak nations. The government of the Guchkovs and Miliukovs, 
which is a landowners* and capitalists* government, is forced to 
continue and wants to continue the very same kind of a war. To 
come to that government with the suggestion that it should conclude 
a democratic peace is equivalent to approaching proprietors of 
houses of ill fame with a sermon on virtue. 

Let us explain what we mean. 

What is imperialism? 

In my pamphlet, Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism, 
which, before the revolution, had been submitted to the publishing 
firm "Parus," [Sail], accepted by it and announced in the magazine 
Lietopis 42 [Annals], I answered this question in the following 
way: 

"Imperialism is capitalism in that phase of its development in 
which the domination of monopolies and finance capital has estab- 
lished itself; in which the export of capital has acquired very great 
importance; in which the division of the world among interna- 
tional trusts has begun; in which the partition of all the territories 
of the earth among the greatest capitalist countries has been com- 
pleted." (Chapter VII of the above-named pamphlet, announced 
in the Lietopis, when there was still a censorship, under the title: 
V. Ilyin,* Recent Capitalism.} 43 

The whole thing reduces itself to the fact that capital has grown 
to enormous dimensions. Associations of a small number of the 
greatest capitalists (cartels, syndicates, trusts) manipulate billions 
and divide the whole world among themselves. The earth has 

* One of Lenin's noms de plume. Ed. 



58 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

been completely divided. The war has been brought on by the 
clash of two mighty groups of billionaires, the Anglo-French and 
the German, over the redivision of the world. 

The Anglo-French group of capitalists wishes first of all to rob 
Germany by taking away its colonies (almost all of them have 
already been taken away) then to rob Turkey. 

The German group of capitalists wishes to grab Turkey for itself 
and to compensate itself for the loss of the colonies by seizing the 
neighbouring small states (Belgium, Serbia, Rumania) . 

This is the real truth, concealed under various bourgeois lies 
such as "war for liberation," "national" war, a "war for right and 
justice" and similar toy-rattles with which the capitalists always 
fool the common people. 

Russia is fighting this war not with its own money. Russian 
capital is the partner of Anglo-French capital. Russia is fighting 
this war in order that it may rob Armenia, Turkey, Galicia. 

Guchkov, Lvov, Miliukov, our present Ministers, are not leaders 
by accident. They are the representatives and leaders of the entire 
class of landowners and capitalists. They are bound by the interests 
of capital. Capitalists are as incapable of sacrificing their interests 
as man is incapable of lifting himself by his own bootstraps. 

Secondly, Guchkov, Miliukov and Co. are bound by Anglo-French 
capital. They have been and still are conducting the war on bor- 
rowed money. They have promised to pay on the borrowed billions 
interest amounting to hundreds of millions yearly, to squeeze this 
tribute out of the Russian workers and the Russian peasants. 

Thirdly, Guchkov, Miliukov and Co. are bound to England, 
France, Italy, Japan, and other groups of capitalist-robbers by 
direct treaties dealing with the predatory aims of the war. These 
treaties were concluded by Tsar Nicholas II. Guchkov, Miliukov 
and Co., taking advantage of the struggle of the workers against 
the tsarist monarchy, seized power, but they have confirmed the 
treaties concluded by the Tsar. 

This was done by the entire Guchkov-Miliukov government in a 
Manifesto which the Petrograd Telegraph Agency reported abroad 
on March 20: "The government" (of Guchkov and Miliukov), says 
the Manifesto, "aims to live up faithfully to all its treaty obliga- 
tions to other countries." The new Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
Miliukov, made a similar declaration in his telegram to all the 
representatives of Russia abroad (March 18, 1917) .** 



LETTERS FROM AFAR iv 59 

These treaties are all secret, and Miliukov and Co. do not wish 
to publish them for two reasons: (1) They are afraid of the people, 
which does not want any predatory war. (2) They are hound 
by Anglo-French capital, which demands that the treaties remain 
secret. But any one who has read newspapers and who has studied 
the subject knows that these treaties deal with the looting of China 
by Japan; of Persia, Armenia, Turkey (Constantinople in par- 
ticular), and Galicia, by Russia; of Albania, by Italy; of Turkey, 
the German colonies, etc., by France and England. 

That is how things stand. 

That is why there is just as much sense in asking the Guchkov- 
Miliukov government speedily to conclude an honest, democratic, 
neighbourly peace as there is in the appeal of the kindly village 
priest to the landlords and merchants to live a godly life, to love 
their neighbours, and to turn the right cheek when one strikes 
them on the left. The landowners and the merchants listen to the 
sermon, continue to oppress and rob the people and extol the 
priest's ability to console and pacify the peasants. 

Precisely the same role whether they realise it or not is played 
by all those who in the present imperialist war come to the bour- 
geois governments with kindly proposals of peace. The bourgeois 
governments at times refuse to listen to such proposals and even 
prohibit them altogether, but sometimes countenance them and 
issue assurances right and left that what they are really fighting for 
is the speedy conclusion of a "most righteous" peace, and that the 
only one at fault is the enemy. All such proposals of peace and 
appeals to bourgeois governments turn out in fact to be a hoax 
upon the people. 

The groups of capitalists who have drenched the earth in blood 
over the partition of territories, markets, and concessions, cannot 
conclude an "honourable" peace. They can conclude only a 
dishonourable peace, a peace based on the division of spoils, on the 
partition of Turkey and the colonies. 

Moreover, the Guchkov-Miliukov government is altogether op- 
posed to peace at the present moment, for now its share of the 
spoils would include only Armenia and a part of Galicia, whereas 
its real aim is to seize Constantinople, and to regain from the 
Germans Poland, a country that was always inhumanly and dis- 
gracefully oppressed by tsarism. Furthermore, the Guchkov-Miliu- 
kov government is essentially the errand boy of Anglo-French 



60 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

capital that wants to retain the colonies wrested from Germany and 
also to compel Germany to hand back Belgium and a part of 
France. Anglo-French capital has helped the Guchkovs and 
Miliukovs to remove Nicholas II, in order that the Guchkovs and 
the Miliukovs might help it to "vanquish" Germany. 

What then is to be done? 

In order to obtain peace (and particularly, to obtain a really 
democratic, a really honourable peace), it is necessary that the 
power of the state should be in the hands not of the landlords and 
the capitalists, but in the hands of the workers and the poorest 
peasants. The landlords and the capitalists constitute an insignifi- 
cant minority of the population; the capitalists, as every one knows, 
are making enormous profits out of the war. 

The workers and the poorest peasants constitute an overwhelm- 
ing majority of the population. Far from enriching themselves 
out of the war, they are actually being ruined and starved. They 
are bound neither by capital nor by treaties with predatory capi- 
talist gangs; they are in a position and sincerely wish to bring 
the war to an end. 

Were the state power in Russia to belong to the Soviets of Work- 
ers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, these Soviets and the All- 
Russian Soviet elected by them could and certainly would agree 
to put into effect the peace programme which our party (Russian 
Social-Democratic Labour Party) had outlined as far back as 
October 13, 1915, and printed in No. 47 of Social-Democrat, the 
Central Organ of our party (published then in Geneva on account 
of the oppressive tsarist censorship). 

This peace programme would probably be as follows: 

1. The All-Russian Soviet of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' 
Deputies (or the Petrograd Soviet which temporarily takes its 
place) would immediately declare that it was not bound by any 
treaties concluded either by the tsarist monarchy or by the bourgeois 
governments. 

2. It would forthwith publish all these treaties in order to expose 
to public obloquy the predatory aims of the tsarist monarchy and of 
all bourgeois governments, without exception. 

3. It would immediately and openly propose to all the warring 
nations that an armistice be concluded forthwith. 

4. It would immediately publish, so that every one might know, 
our, the workers' and the peasants', conditions for peace: die libera- 



LETTERS FROM AFAR iv 61 

tion of all colonies; the liberation of all dependent, oppressed, and 
non-sovereign peoples. 

5. It would declare that it expected no good to come from the 
bourgeois governments and that it proposed to the workers of all 
the countries to overthrow them and to transfer all the state power 
to Soviets of Workers' Deputies. 

6. It would declare that the billion-ruble debts contracted by 
the bourgeois governments for the purpose of carrying on this 
criminal and predatory war should be paid by the capitalists them- 
selves, and that the workers and peasants refused to recognise 
these debts. To pay interest on these debts would mean to pay 
tribute to the capitalists for many, many years for having generously 
permitted the workers to kill one another over the division of 
spoils by the capitalists. 

The Soviet of Workers' Deputies would say: Workers and peas- 
ants! Are you willing to pay hundreds of millions of rubles yearly 
to compensate the capitalists for a war that has been waged for 
the purpose of partitioning the African colonies, Turkey, etc.? 

For the enforcement of such conditions of peace the Soviet of 
Workers' Deputies, in my opinion, would agree to wage war against 
any bourgeois government and against all bourgeois governments 
of the world, because a war in that case would be a really just 
war and all the workers and toilers of all countries would work 
for its success. 

The German worker sees now that the militarist monarchy in 
Russia is being replaced by a militarist republic, a republic of 
capitalists who wish to continue the imperialist war, who sanction 
the predatory treaties of the tsarist monarchy. 

Judge for yourselves, can the German worker trust such a re- 
public? 

Judge for yourselves, can the war continue, can the domination 
of capitalists in the world continue, if the Russian people, always 
sustained by the living memories of the great revolution of 1905, 
wins complete freedom and places the entire state power in the 
hands of the Soviets of Workers' and Peasants* Deputies? 

Zurich, March 25, 1917. 

First published from manuscript in the Lenin Collection, Vol. II, 1924, 



62 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 



FIFTH LETTER 

PROBLEMS OF REVOLUTIONARY PROLETARIAN ORGANISATION 
OF THE STATE 

IN the foregoing letters the tasks of the revolutionary proletariat 
of Russia have heen outlined as follows: (1) To find the surest 
road leading to the next stage of the revolution or to the second 
revolution, which revolution (2) shall transfer the state power 
from the government of landowners and capitalists (the Guchkovs, 
Lvovs, Miliukovs, Kerenskys) to a government of the workers and 
poorest peasants. (3) The latter government must be organised 
on the model of the Soviet of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies, 
namely (4), it must shatter and completely eliminate the old 
government apparatus prevailing in all the bourgeois countries, the 
army, the police, the bureaucracy, putting in its place (5) not 
only a mass organisation but an organisation of a universally armed 
people. (6) Only such a government, with "such" a class composi- 
tion (revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and 
the peasantry) and such administrative organs (proletarian militia) 
will be able to solve successfully the exceedingly difficult, urgent, 
and most important problem of the moment, i. e., the problem of 
obtaining peace, not an imperialist peace, not agreements among 
imperialist governments concerning the division of spoils by the 
capitalists and their governments, but a true, permanent, demo- 
cratic peace which cannot be attained without a proletarian revolu- 
tion in a number of countries. (7) In Russia the victory of the 
proletariat can be accomplished in the nearest future only if the 
workers are at the very outset supported by an overwhelming 
majority of the peasantry in its fight for the confiscation of all the 
lands owned by the landowners, and for the nationalisation of the 
entire land, if we assume that the agrarian programme of the 
"104" 45 is still essentially the agrarian programme of the peas- 
antry. (8) In connection with and on the basis of such a peasant 
revolution further steps of the proletariat in union with the poorest 
section of the peasantry are possible and necessary, steps directed 
towards the control of industry and the distribution of basic 
products, towards the establishment of "universal labour duty," etc. 
These steps are absolutely and imperatively demanded by the con- 
ditions created by the war, conditions which are likely to become 



LETTERS FROM AFAR v 63 

even more aggravated in post-war times; in their entirety and in 
their development, these steps would represent the transition to 
Socialism, which in Russia cannot be realised immediately, directly, 
without transition measures, which, however, is perfectly realisable 
and urgently needed as a result of such transition measures. (9) 
The task of immediately organising in the villages separate Soviets 
of Workers' Deputies, i. e., Soviets of hired agricultural workers, 
distinct from the Soviets of the rest of the peasant deputies, appears 
to be most urgent. 

This, in short, is the programme we outlined, after taking stock 
of the class forces of the Russian and the world revolutions, as 
well as of the experience of 1871 and 1905. 

Let us now attempt a general view of this programme as a whole, 
considering at the same time the manner in which it was approached 
by K. Kautsky, the greatest theoretician of the "Second" Interna- 
tional (1889-1914) and the most conspicuous representative of 
the "centre" or the "swamp" group observable in all the countries, 
i. e., the group that vacillates between the social-chauvinists and 
the revolutionary internationalists. Kautsky discussed this subject 
in his journal (Die Neue Zeit, 46 April 6, 1917) in an article entitled, 
"The Prospects of the Russian Revolution." 

"First of all," says Kautsky, "we must make clear to ourselves 
the problems confronting the revolutionary proletarian regime." 

"Two things," continues the author, "are absolutely necessary to 
the proletariat: democracy and Socialism," 

Unfortunately, this absolutely incontestable premise is pro- 
pounded by Kautsky in an extremely generalised form, so that it 
really offers nothing and clarifies nothing. Miliukov and Kerensky, 
members of the bourgeois and imperialist government, would readily 
subscribe to this general premise, the one to the former, the other 
to the latter part. . . .* 

Written April 8, 1917. 

First published from manuscript in the Lenin Collection, Vol. II, 1924. 

* Manuscript unfinished. Ed. 



THE REVOLUTION IN RUSSIA AND THE TASKS OF THE 
WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES 47 

COMRADE-WORKERS : 

The forecast of those Socialists who have remained faithful to 
Socialism without succumbing to the poison of the savage and 
beastly war spirit, has proven to be correct The first revolution, 
caused by the world-wide predatory war among the capitalists of 
various countries, has broken out. The imperialist war, i. e., the 
war for the division of spoils among the capitalists, for the crushing 
of weak peoples, has begun to change into civil war, i. e. 9 a war of 
the workers against the capitalists, a war of the toilers and the 
oppressed against their oppressors, against tsars and kings, land- 
owners and capitalists, a war for the complete liberation of humanity 
from wars, from poverty of the masses, from oppression of one man 
by another! 

The honour and the good fortune of being the initiators of the 
revolution, z". e. 9 of the great, the only legitimate and just war, the 
war of the oppressed against the oppressors, has fallen to the lot 
of the Russian workers. 

The Petrograd workers have vanquished the tsarist monarchy. 
In their heroic struggle against the police and the Tsar's armies, 
the workers, having started the uprising unarmed in face of machine 
guns, have won over to their side the majority of the soldiers of the 
Petrograd garrison. The same thing occurred in Moscow and in 
other cities. Abandoned by his armies, the Tsar had to capitulate: 
he signed an abdication for himself and his son. He proposed that 
the throne be transferred to his brother Michael. 

Owing to the great rapidity of the overturn, owing to the direct 
help of Anglo-French capitalists, owing to insufficient class- 
consciousness among the workers and the masses of the people in 
Petrograd, owing to the organisation and preparedness of the Rus- 
sian landowners and capitalists, the latter have succeeded in seizing 
the state power. The most important posts, the premiership and 
the Ministries of the Interior and War in the new Russian govern- 

64 



THE REVOLUTION AND TASKS OF THE WORKERS 65 

ment, the "Provisional Government," 48 have been given to Lvov 
and Guchkov, the Octobrists who had energetically assisted 
Nicholas the Bloody and Stolypin the Hangman in crushing the 
revolution of 1905, in shooting down and hanging workers and 
peasants who fought for land and freedom. The less important 
ministerial posts have been allotted to the Cadets: that of Foreign 
Affairs to Miliukov, of Education to Manuilov, of Agriculture to 
Shingarev. One quite insignificant little post, that of Minister of 
Justice, has been given to the Trudovik Kerensky, a glib-tongued 
fellow whom the capitalists need for the purpose of pacifying the 
people with empty promises, fooling them with high sounding 
phrases, reconciling them to the government of the landowners and 
capitalists who in union with the capitalists of France and Eng- 
land wish to continue the predatory war, a war for the seizure of 
Armenia, Constantinople, Galicia, a war to enable the Anglo-French 
capitalists to retain the booty which they have taken from the Ger- 
man capitalists (all the German colonies in Africa), and, at the 
same time, to recover the spoils seized by the German capitalist- 
robbers (a part of France, Belgium, Serbia, Rumania, etc.). 

Clearly, the workers could not trust such a government. The 
workers had overthrown the tsarist monarchy in their struggle for 
peace, bread, and freedom. The workers immediately saw why 
Guchkov, Miliukov and Co. succeeded in wresting the victory from 
the hands of the working people. The reason was that the Russian 
landlords and capitalists were well prepared and organised; that 
they had on their side the force of capital, the wealth both of the 
Russian capitalists and of the richest capitalists in the world, the 
English and the French. The workers soon realised that in order 
to fight for peace, bread, and freedom, the labouring classes, the 
workers, the soldiers, and the peasants, must organise, unite, close 
their ranks independently of die capitalists and in opposition to 
them. 

Thus the Petrograd workers, having overthrown the tsarist mon- 
archy, immediately created their own organisation, the Soviet of 
Workers' Deputies, immediately proceeded to strengthen and extend 
it, to create independent Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 
Only a few days after the revolution, the Petrograd Soviet of 
Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies comprised over 1,500 Deputies 
of workers and peasants dressed in soldiers* uniforms. Such was 
the confidence of the railroad workers and of the entire mass of the 



66 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

labouring population in this Soviet, that it began to develop into a 
real people's government. 

And even the most faithful friends and protectors of Guchkov- 
Miliukov, even the most faithful watchdogs of Anglo-French preda- 
tory capital, the staff-correspondent of the richest newspaper of the 
English capitalists, Robert Wilson of the Times, and the staff- 
correspondent of the richest paper of the French capitalists, Charles 
Rivet of the Temps, even they, while hurling curses at the Soviet 
of Workers' Deputies, have teen forced to admit that there are two 
governments in Russia. One recognised by "everybody" (actually, 
by everybody among the wealthy), the government of the land- 
owners and the capitalists, of the Guchkovs and the Miliukovs. 
The other recognised by "nobody" (of the wealthy classes), the 
.government of the workers and the peasants the Petrograd Soviet 
of Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies that is trying to establish 
throughout Russia Soviets of Workers' and Soviets of Peasants' 
Deputies. 

Let us see, now, what is being said and what is being done by 
each of these two governments. 

1. What is being done by the government of the landowners and 
the capitalists, the government of Lvov-Guchkov-Miliukov? 

This government is handing out the most glorious promises right 
and left. It promises the Russian people the fullest freedom. It 
promises to convoke a national Constituent Assembly which shall 
determine the form of government for Russia. Kerensky and the 
Cadet leaders declare themselves in favour of a democratic republic. 
In the matter of theatrical revolutionism, the Guchkovs-Miliukovs 
are unsurpassable. Their publicity machine is working at top 
speed. But what about their deeds? 

While promising freedom, the new government conducted nego- 
tiations with the Tsar's family, with the dynasty, concerning the 
restoration of the monarchy. It offered Michael Romanov the 
regency, i. e., he was to become a temporary Tsar. Monarchy in 
Russia would have been restored, had not the Guchkovs and the 
Miliufcovs been stopped by the workers, who paraded through the 
.streets of Petrograd, who inscribed on their banners: "Land and 
Freedom! Death to the Tyrants!" who, together with the cavalry 
regiments, assembled on the square in front of the Duma and 
unfurled banners with the inscription: "Long Live Socialist Re- 
publics in All Countries!" The ally of the Guchfcovs-Miliukovs, 



THE REVOLUTION AND TASKS OF THE WORKERS 67 

Michael Romanov, realised that under the circumstances, it would 
be wiser to decline the proffer until he should be chosen to the 
throne by the Constituent Assembly, and Russia has temporarily 
remained a republic. 

The government did not deprive the former Tsar of his freedom. 
The workers compelled his arrest. The government wanted to hand 
over the command of the army to Nicholas Nicholaievich Romanov. 
The workers forced his removal. Naturally, the landowners, the 
Lvovs-Guchkovs, would come to terms with a Romanov or with 
some other landowner even to-morrow, had there not been the 
Soviet of the Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 

The government announced, in its Manifesto to the people and 
in the telegram which Miliukov has sent to all the Russian repre- 
sentatives abroad, that it remained faithful to all the international 
treaties entered into by Russia. These treaties were made by the 
deposed Tsar. The government does not dare to publish these 
treaties first, because it is bound hand and foot by Russian, Eng- 
lish, and French capital; second, because it fears that the people 
would tear the Guchkovs and the Miliukovs to pieces, if it discovered 
that the capitalists are ready to sacrifice five or ten more millions of 
workers and peasants in order to win Constantinople, crush 
Galicia, etc. 

Of what good, then, are the promises of freedom, if the people 
are not allowed to know the truth about the treaties of the land- 
owner-Tsar for which the capitalists are ready to shed more and 
more of the soldiers' blood? 

Of what good are the promises of various liberties and even of a 
democratic republic to a people threatened with famine, a people 
whom they wish to lead blindfold to slaughter in order that the 
Russian, English, and French capitalists may rob the German 
capitalists? 

At the same time the government of the Guchkovs and Miliukovs 
is crushing by sheer force every attempt of the Russian workers 
to come to an understanding with their brothers, the workers of the 
other countries: neither the Pravda, the publication of which has 
been resumed in Petrograd since the revolution, nor the Manifesto 
issued in Petrograd by the Central Committee of our party, the 
Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, nor yet the proclama- 
tions of the Duma Deputy Chkheidze and his group, were allowed 
by the government to be sent abroad from Russia. 



68 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

Workers and peasants! You may rest assured: You have been 
promised freedom freedom for the dead, freedom for those who 
have died of hunger, who have been slaughtered in the war! 

Not one word about land for the peasants or higher wages for 
the workers has been said by the government in any of its pro- 
grammes. No date has as yet been set for the convocation of the 
Constituent Assembly. No elections to the Petrograd city council 
have as yet been called. The people's militia is being placed under 
the direction of the zemstvos and the municipal governments which, 
in accordance with the Stolypin law, were elected by the capitalists 
and the richest landowners only. Governors are being appointed 
from the landowning class and this is "freedom." 

2. What is being done and what should be done by the govern- 
ment of the workers and the peasants? . . .* 

Written March 25, 1917. 

First published from manuscript in the Lenin Collection, Vol. II, 1924. 

* Manuscript unfinished. Ed. 



LETTER TO J. S. HANECKI 

March 30. 
DEAR COMRADE: 

I am sincerely grateful to you for your attention and your help. 
Of course, I cannot avail myself of the services of people who have 
any connection with the publisher of the Clocked I have tele- 
graphed to you to-day that the only hope we have of getting out 
of here is through an exchange of [Russian] immigrants in Switzer- 
land for interned Germans [in Russia], Under no conditions will 
England allow either me or any internationalist, 51 or Martov and 
his friends, 52 or Natanson and his friends, 53 to pass through. The 
English have forced Chernov to return to France, despite the fact 
that he had all the papers necessary for his passage! ! Clearly, the 
Russian proletarian revolution has no more malignant enemy than 
the English imperialists. Clearly, the agent of Anglo-French im- 
perialist capital and the Russian imperialists, Miliukov (and Co.), 
are capable of anything, of deception, of treason, of anything, any- 
thing, as long as they succeed in keeping the internationalists from 
returning to Russia. Reliance, be it ever so slight, in this case, on 
Miliukov and on Kerensky (a mere babbler, whose role, objectively, 
is that of an agent of the Russian imperialist bourgeoisie) would be 
simply disastrous to the labour movement and to our party, would 
be well-nigh treason to internationalism. Our only chance, I say 
this without wishing to exaggerate, is to send as soon as possible a 
reliable man into Russia who will bring the pressure of the Soviet 
of Workers' Deputies to bear upon the government in order that 
it may exchange the immigrants in Switzerland for the interned Ger- 
mans. We must act with much haste, keeping a record of every 
step, sparing no money on telegrams, collecting documents against 
Miliukov and Co., who are apt to procrastinate, to feed us with 
promises, to deceive, etc. You may well imagine what torture it is 
for all of us to stay here at such a time. 

Furthermore, questions of principle make the despatch of a re- 
liable man to Russia even more urgent. The latest reports in the 
foreign press clearly point to the fact that the government, with 

69 



68 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

Workers and peasants! You may rest assured: You have been 
promised freedom freedom for the dead, freedom for those who 
have died of hunger, who have been slaughtered in the war! 

Not one word about land for the peasants or higher wages for 
the workers has been said by the government in any of its pro- 
grammes. No date has as yet been set for the convocation of the 
Constituent Assembly. No elections to the Petrograd city council 
have as yet been called. The people's militia is being placed under 
the direction of the zemstvos and the municipal governments which, 
in accordance with the Stolypin law, were elected by the capitalists 
and the richest landowners only. Governors are being appointed 
from the landowning class and this is "freedom." 

2. What is being done and what should be done by the govern- 
ment of the workers and the peasants? . . .* 

Written March 25, 1917. 

First published from manuscript in the Lenin Collection, Vol. II, 1924. 

* Manuscript unfinished. -& 



LETTER TO J. S. HANECKI 4 ' 

March 30. 
DEAR COMRADE: 

I am sincerely grateful to you for your attention and your help. 
Of course, I cannot avail myself of the services of people who have 
any connection with the publisher of the Glocke. BO I have tele- 
graphed to you to-day that the only hope we have of getting out 
of here is through an exchange of [Russian] immigrants in Switzer- 
land for interned Germans [in Russia]. Under no conditions will 
England allow either me or any internationalist, 51 or Martov and 
his friends, 52 or Natanson and his friends, 53 to pass through. The 
English have forced Chernov to return to France, despite the fact 
that he had all the papers necessary for his passage! ! Clearly, the 
Russian proletarian revolution has no more malignant enemy than 
the English imperialists. Clearly, the agent of Anglo-French im- 
perialist capital and the Russian imperialists, Miliukov (and Co.), 
are capable of anything, of deception, of treason, of anything, any- 
thing, as long as they succeed in keeping the internationalists from 
returning to Russia. Reliance, be it ever so slight, in this case, on 
Miliukov and on Kerensky (a mere babbler, whose role, objectively, 
is that of an agent of the Russian imperialist bourgeoisie) would be 
simply disastrous to the labour movement and to our party, would 
be well-nigh treason to internationalism. Our only chance, I say 
this without wishing to exaggerate, is to send as soon as possible a 
reliable man into Russia who will bring the pressure of the Soviet 
of Workers* Deputies to bear upon the government in order that 
it may exchange the immigrants in Switzerland for the interned Ger- 
mans. We must act with much haste, keeping a record of every 
step, sparing no money on telegrams, collecting documents against 
Miliukov and Co., who are apt to procrastinate, to feed us with 
promises, to deceive, etc. You may well imagine what torture it is 
for all of us to stay here at such a time. 

Furthermore, questions of principle make the despatch of a re- 
liable man to Russia even more urgent. The latest reports in the 
foreign press clearly point to the fact that the government, with 

69 



70 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

the direct aid of Kerensky and thanks to the unpardonable (mildly 
speaking) vacillations of Chkheidze, is hoodwinking the workers, 
and quite successfully, by declaring this imperialist war to be 
a war of "defence." According to the Petrograd Telegraph Agency 
despatch of March 30, 1917, Chkheidze has allowed himself to be 
fooled by this slogan, which if we should believe this source, 
usually unreliable, of course has also been adopted by the Soviet 
of Workers' Deputies. In any case, even if this report prove false, 
the dangerous possibility of such deception is tremendous. Every 
effort of the party must be directed to fight it. Our party would 
completely disgrace itself, would commit political suicide, if it were 
lured by such deception. According to one report, Muranov re- 
turned from Cronstadt together with Skobelev. If Muranov had 
gone there at the behest of the Provisional Government of the Guch- 
kovs-Miliukovs, then please transmit to our comrades (through the 
reliable person) and announce in our papers that I unqualifiedly 
condemn this action, that any connection with those inclining 
toward social-patriotism and with those taking the deeply erroneous, 
terribly harmful social-pacifist Kautsfcian position of Chkheidze 
and Co., is, according to my deepest conviction, harmful to the 
working class, dangerous, and not to be allowed. 

I hope you have received my "Letters From Afar," numbers 1-4,* 
in which I have developed the theoretical and political bases of 
these views. If those letters have been lost or have not reached 
Petrograd, please telegraph, and I will send copies. 

Undoubtedly the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies includes a large and apparently even a preponderant num- 
ber of (1) followers of Kerensky, a very dangerous agent of the 
imperialist bourgeoisie who under the smoke screen of sonorous 
phrases and empty promises is doing the work of imperialism, 
namely, defending and justifying the predatory war, a war of con- 
quest on the part of Russia; (2) followers of Chkheidze, who is 
leaning shamelessly toward social-patriotism and is sharing all the 
vulgarity and absurdity of Kautskyism. Our party must fight both 
trends most vigorously, most fundamentally, most persistently, most 
mercilessly. I personally do not hesitate for a moment to declare 
in print that I would rather face a break with any one in our party, 
than make concessions to the social-patriotism of Kerensky and Co. 
or to the social-pacifism and Kautskyism of Chkheidze and Co. 

* See pp. 27-61 of this book. Ed. 



LETTER TO J. S. HANECKI 7L 

I must request and insist that the following be reprinted in Petro- 
grad, under, say, the heading "From the History of the Last Years 
of Tsarism": the Social-Democrat, published here; Lenin and 
Zinoviev's pamphlet on the war 54 and Socialism; the Communist 5 * 
and the collection of articles from the Social-Democrat. 06 But 
above and before anything else the theses from No. 47 of the Social- 
Democrat, October 13, 1915.* These theses are now extremely 
important. 

These theses tell directly, clearly and precisely what we should 
do in the event of a revolution in Russia they tell it a year and a 
half before the revolution! 

These theses have been remarkably well, nay, literally, confirmed 
by the revolution. 

As far as Russia is concerned the war has not ceased to be im* 
perialist, nor can it cease to be such (1) while landowners and 
capitalists, representatives of the bourgeoisie, are in power; (2) 
while such direct agents and servants of the bourgeoisie as Kerensky 
and other social-patriots are in power; (3) while the treaties be- 
tween tsarism and the Anglo-French imperialists remain in force 
(the government of Guchkov-Miliukov has openly declared abroad 
I do not know whether it has done so in Russia that it means 
to abide by the treaties). These treaties are predatory treaties, 
dealing as they do with the seizure of Galicia, Armenia, Constanti- 
nople and so on and so forth; (4) while these treaties are not 
published or abrogated; (5) while the alliance between Russia and 
the Anglo-French bourgeois imperialist governments remains in 
force; (6) while in Russia state power is not taken from the im- 
perialist bourgeoisie (simple promises and "pacifist" declarations, 
however much the foolish little Kautskys, Chkheidzes and Co. be- 
lieve in them, will not transform the bourgeoisie into non-bour- 
geoisie) and placed in the hands of the proletariat which alone is 
capable, if it be supported by the poorest peasants, of breaking 
not merely in words but in deeds with capitalist interests, with im- 
perialist politics, which alone is capable of ending the pillage of 
foreign countries, of completely freeing all the nationalities op- 
pressed by the Great-Russians, of taking the army out of Armenia 
and Galicia, etc.; (7) only the proletariat is able, if it only rid itself 
of the influence of its national bourgeoisie, to inspire the prole- 
tarians of all the warring countries with real confidence, and to 

*See Collected Works, Vol. XVIII, article "A Few Theses. Editors." Ed. 



72 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

enter with them into peace negotiations; (8) these proletarian 
conditions for peace are presented precisely and clearly in No. 47 
of the Social-Democrat, and also in my Fourth Letter. 

Hence it is clear that the slogan: we are now defending the re- 
public in Russia, we are now carrying on a "war of defence," we 
shall continue to fight against Wilhelm, we are fighting for the 
downfall of Wilhelm, is the biggest lie, is the worst deception of 
the workers! For Guchkov-Lvov-Miliukov and Co. are landowners 
and capitalists, representatives of the class of landowners and 
capitalists, they are imperialists fighting for the same predatory 
aims, on the strength of the same predatory treaties of tsarism, in 
alliance with the same imperialist and predatory bourgeoisie of 
England, France, and Italy. 

When the bourgeois and imperialist republic of Russia calls upon 
the Germans to "overthrow Wilhelm," it simply repeats the lying 
slogans of the French social-chauvinists, Jules Guesde, Sembat 
and Co., who have turned traitors to Socialism. 

We must tell the workers and soldiers in a simple, popular lan- 
guage, free of learned words, that it is their duty to overthrow not 
only Wilhelm, but the English and the Italian kings as well. That 
is the first thing. Secondly and chiefly, it is their duty to over- 
throw the bourgeois governments, and we must begin with Russia, 
because otherwise we shall never attain peace. It is possible that 
we shall not be able to "overthrow" the government of Guchkov- 
Miliukov immediately. Supposing that to be the case, it still would 
be no reason for telling an untruth! The workers should be told 
the truth. They should be told that the government of Guchkov- 
Miliukov and Co. is an imperialist government, that the workers 
and the peasants must first of all (either now or after the Con- 
stituent Assembly shall have been elected if the latter does not 
prove a hoax on the people, and is not postponed till after the 
war the question of the proper moment cannot be settled from 
here) transfer all the state power to the working class, the enemy 
of capital, the enemy of the imperialist war, and that only then 
will they have the right to demand the overthrow of all kings 
and of all bourgeois governments. 

For God's sake, try to get all this into Petrograd and into the 
Pravda, to Muranov, to Kamenev, and others. For God's sake, 
make every effort to forward it through a very reliable person. 
It would be best to send a clever, trustworthy chap like Kuba (he 



LETTER TO J. S. HANECKI 73 

would render a great service to the working-class movement of the 
whole world) to help our Petrograd friends! I hope you will do it! 
Do everything possible. 

Conditions in Petrograd are most difficult. The republican pa- 
triots are exerting all their strength. They are trying to throw 
filth and mud at our party (the "case" of Chernomazov I am send- 
ing a document relating to him), etc., etc. 

We must trust neither Chkheidze and Co., nor Sukhanov, nor 
Steklov. No rapprochement with other parties, with none of them I 
Not the slightest confidence in or support of the government of 
Guchkov-Miliukov and Co.! Implacable propaganda of interna- 
tionalism and of war upon republican chauvinism and social- 
chauvinism everywhere, both in the press and within the Soviet 
of Workers' Deputies; the organisation of our party this is the main 
thing. Kamenev must realise that on his shoulders rests a responsi- 
bility of historical and universal import. 57 

Spare no money to keep up connections between Petrograd and 
Stockholm ! 

I beg of you, dear comrade, to telegraph me of the receipt of this 
letter, and generally to keep me posted on everything that is going 
on. I hope our Swedish friends will also help us in this matter. 
I shake your hand firmly. 

Yours, 

LENIN. 

First published from manuscript in the Proletiarskaut Revolutsia [Proletarian 
Revolution], No. 2, 1921. 



TRICKS OF THE REPUBLICAN CHAUVINISTS 58 

March 30, 1917. 

I HAVE just read the following in to-day's early morning edition 
of the Neue Zilricher Zeitung, No. 750, March 30: 

Milan, March 29. Our Petrograd correspondent reports the arrest of a 
certain Cheraomazov, editor of the Socialist paper Pravda which made its 
first appearance during the revolution. Under the old regime, Chernomazov 
was an agent of the secret police and received a monthly salary of two 
nundred rubles. The newspaper of which he was in charge has been 
clamouring for a Soviet republic and attacking bitterly the Provisional 
Government, with the obvious purpose of serving reaction. Altogether the 
agitation by irresponsible groups against the government prompts one to 
suspect collusion with the old regime and the enemy. Even the Soviet of 
'Workers* and Soldiers* Deputies which, in comparison with the Provisional 
Government, is decidedly radical, has turned away from these groups. 

This report is a paraphrase of a telegram appearing in the 
chauvinist Italian paper, Corriere delta Sera, 58 Milan, March 29, 
and sent there from Petrograd on March 26, at 10:30 P.M. To 
explain to the readers the falsification, a thing quite usual among 
the chauvinists, I must turn a bit to the past. 

Under the "old regime," i. e., from April, 1912, to July, 1914, 
there was published in Petrograd a daily Social-Democratic paper, 
Pravda. In fact, this paper was the organ of the Central Committee 
of our party, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. I used 
to contribute to that paper almost daily from Cracow, where I lived 
as a political emigrant. The Social-Democratic members of the 
Duma, Badaiev, Muranov, Petrovsky, Shagov, Samoilov (up to the 
summer of 1914 the group included also Malinovsky), who be- 
longed to our party and whom the Tsar later exiled to Siberia for 
agitation against the imperialist war, regularly came to Cracow, 
and we conferred regarding the policies of the paper. 

The Tsar's government naturally tried not only to surround the 
Pravda, a paper with a circulation of sixty thousand, with spies, 
but also to plant provocateurs on its staff. Among these provoca- 
teurs was Chernomazov, known in the party by the name of Miron. 

74 



TRICKS OF THE REPUBLICAN CHAUVINISTS 75 

He managed to gain the confidence of the party, and in 1913 became 
the secretary of the Pravda. 

Having observed, together with a group of Duma Deputies, the 
activities of Chernomazov, we came to the conclusion (1) that in 
his articles he compromised our political line, and (2) that his 
political integrity was open to suspicion. It was difficult, however, 
to find a substitute, all the more so since the intercourse between 
the group of Deputies and Cracow was maintained surreptitiously, 
and through the Deputies' trips, which could not be made very often. 
Finally, in the spring of 1914, we succeeded in bringing Rosenfeld 
(Kamenev) over to Petrograd, but he, together with our Deputies, 
was exiled to Siberia toward the end of 1914. 

Rosenfeld (Kamenev) was instructed to remove Chernomazov, 
which he did. Chernomazov was dismissed. Our Central Com- 
mittee began an investigation, but since it was impossible to find 
positive evidence to substantiate the suspicions against Chernomazov, 
the Petrograd comrades did not decide to brand him openly as a 
provocateur. They were forced to limit themselves to the removal 
of Chernomazov from the Pravda. 

There is no doubt that Chernomazov, and of course other provoc- 
ateurs, had helped the Tsar to banish our Deputies to Siberia. 

On November 13, 1916, we were informed by the Petrograd 
"Bureau of the Central Committee" of our party that Chernomazov 
was again trying to get into the illegal organisation, that the "Bu- 
reau" had removed from the organisation both "Miron" and 
another person connected with him, and that it intended "to treat 
similarly any one who continued to have any dealings with him." 

Our reply, of course, was that Chernomazov's membership in the 
party was inadmissible, for he had been removed by the decision of 
the Central Committee and the above-named Deputies. 

This is the story of the old Pravda published under the old 
regime and crushed by the Tsar before the war, in July, 1914. The 
question arises: Was not Chernomazov, directly or indirectly, con- 
nected with the new Pravda which began publication in Petrograd 
after the revolution? About this I know nothing, for ever since 
the revolution the government of Guchkov-Miliukov has allowed 
neither my telegrams to reach the Pravda 9 nor, of course, the tele- 
grams of the Pravda to reach me. I do not even know whether 
die Bureau of the Central Committee is still in existence, or whether 
Kamenev and the Deputies, who know Miron and would have 



76 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

immediately removed him if he had again wormed himself into 
the organisation by taking advantage of the change in its personnel, 
have returned to Petrograd. 

The French social-chauvinist paper UHumanite** of March 28 
quoted a telegram supposedly received from Petrograd by the 
Petit Parisien** In this telegram Chernomazov is referred to as the 
"former editor of the extremist Social-Democratic paper, Pravda." 

The reader will, we hope, understand now the treachery and the 
baseness of the methods used by the government of Guchkov- 
Miliukov and its friends, who are determined to cast a shadow on 
our party by suggesting that it is working in common with the old 
regime and the enemy. This government and its friends hate our 
party and slander it, because we declared as far back as October 13, 
1915, in No. 47 of our paper the Social-Democrat (Geneva) that 
we were absolutely opposed to the imperialist war, even if it were 
to be conducted not by the Tsar's government, but by a chauvinist- 
revolutionary, chauvinist-republican Russian government. 

The government of Guchkov-Miliukov is just such a government, 
for it has confirmed the predatory treaties concluded by tsarism 
with Anglo-French imperialism and in this war is pursuing preda- 
tory aims (the conquest of Armenia, Galicia, Constantinople, etc.) . 

N. LENIN. 

(To-morrow I shall forward this to the Volksrecht* 2 and the 

Avanti). 6 * 

First published from manuscript in the Lenin Collection, Vol. II, 1924. 



REPORT ON THE TASKS OF THE RUSSIAN SOCIAL- 

DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY IN THE 

RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 6 * 

THE most important prerequisite for the "miraculous" change in 
Russia was the "great rebellion" 65 of 1905-1907, so vilely denounced 
by the Guchkovs and Miliukovs, the present masters of the situa- 
tion, who are now singing praises to the "glorious revolution" 6fl of 
1917. But had the revolution of 1905 not prepared the ground, 
had it not exposed to view all the parties and classes in action, had 
it not exposed the Tsar's clique in all its barbarism and savagery, 
the swift victory of 1917 would have been impossible. 

This particular combination of circumstances has made it pos- 
sible in 1917 to unite the attack of most diverse social forces 
against tsarism. 

Firstly: Anglo-French finance capital, which dominates and robs 
the whole world, had in 1905 opposed the revolution and helped 
the Tsar to crush it (the billion-ruble loan of 1906). But it took 
an active part in the present revolution, and, for the purpose of 
removing Nicholas II, it organised the conspiracy of Guchkov, 
Miliukov and the highest military circles. 67 

From the point of view of world politics and international finance 
capital, the Guchkov-Miliukov government is nothing but a clerk 
of the banking firm England-France, an instrument for prolonging 
the imperialist slaughter of peoples. 

Secondly: the military defeats suffered by the tsarist monarchy 
had thoroughly eliminated the old officers, and young, new officers 
sprang up, predominantly from among the bourgeoisie. 

Thirdly: the entire Russian bourgeoisie, which between the years 
1905 and 1914 and particularly between the years 1914 and 1917 
had speedily organised in the hope of enriching itself by seizing 
Armenia, Constantinople, Galicia, etc., joined forces with the nobility 
in a common struggle against decayed tsarism. 

Finally, fourthly and this is of utmost importance: the actions 
of the imperialist forces were joined in by a deep and stormily 
unfolding proletarian movement. The proletariat demanded peace f 

77 



78 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

bread, and freedom. It had nothing in common with the imperialist 
bourgeoisie and it had behind it the majority of the army, composed 
of workers and peasants. 

The imperialist war has begun to change into civil war. Herein 
lies the source of the dual character of this revolution, which rep- 
resents the first stage of the first revolution brought about by the 
imperialist war. 

The government of Guchfcov and Miliukov, a government of 
landowners and capitalists, can give the people neither peace nor 
bread nor freedom. This government stands for the prolongation 
of the predatory war, and openly declares that it will abide by 
the international treaties concluded by the Tsar. These treaties are 
predatory treaties. At best, this government may manage to post- 
pone the crisis but it cannot save the country from hunger. And no 
matter how many promises it makes, it cannot give the country 
freedom because it is bound by blood ties to the interests of the 
capitalists and the landowning nobility. 

That is why it would be the most foolish thing imaginable to tie 
our hands by the tactics of confidence in and support of a govern- 
ment which is incapable of breaking with imperialism. 

What tactics, then, is the proletariat to pursue? We are now 
undergoing a transition from the first to the second stage of the 
revolution, from the revolt against tsarism to the revolt against 
the bourgeoisie, against the imperialist war a transition to the 
Convention 68 [French], which may evolve from the Constituent As- 
sembly, should the government actually keep its promise and con- 
voke it. 

The special task of the present moment is to organise the proleta- 
riat; but not into the old accepted form of organisation which the 
traitors to Socialism, the social-patriots, the opportunists in all 
countries consider sufficient, but into a revolutionary organisation. 
This organisation must, first, be universal; secondly, it must com- 
bine military and state functions. 

That is why the most foolish thing we can do is to adopt, sup- 
posedly for the purpose of "fighting reaction," the tactics of giving 
confidence and support to the government. To fight reaction there 
must be an arming of the proletariat this is the only serious, the 
only real guarantee against a tsarist counter-revolution, as well as 
against any attempts of Guchkov and Miliukov to restore the 
monarchy. 



TASKS OF THE R. S. D. L. P. IN THE REVOLUTION 79 

The Socialist Deputy Skobelev is right in saying that "Russia is 
on the eve of a second, the real revolution." The organisation of 
this revolution is already in existence. This is the Soviet of Work- 
ers' and Soldiers' Deputies. No wonder the agents of Anglo-French 
capital, the correspondents of the Times and the Temps, are throwing 
mud at it. 

A close study of the press communications relating to the Soviet 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies reveals three trends in that 
organisation. The first comes nearest to social-patriotism. It has 
confidence in the Minister of Justice, Kerensky, this hero of the 
empty phrase, this pawn in the hand of the Guchkovs and Miliu- 
kovs. He is quite liberal with sonorous phrases much in the manner 
of the West-European social-patriots and social-pacifists. In reality, 
however, he "reconciles" the workers to the continuation of the 
predatory war. Through the mouth of Kerensky the imperialist 
bourgeoisie tells the workers: We give you a republic, an eight-hour 
workday (which in fact has already been established in Petrograd) , 
we promise you all sorts of liberties but all this for the express 
purpose that you may help us rob Turkey and Austria, snatch from 
German imperialism its booty, and assure it for Anglo-French 
imperialism. 

The second trend is represented by our Russian Social-Demo- 
cratic Labour Party. The papers have published an extract from 
the Manifesto of our Central Committee. 69 This Manifesto appeared 
in Petrograd on March 18. It puts forward the following demands: 
a democratic republic, an eight-hour workday, confiscation of the 
noblemen's lands for the purpose of transferring them to the 
peasants, confiscation of grain held in store, and immediate prepara- 
tion for peace parleys to be conducted not by the government of 
Guchkov and Miliukov, but by the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers* 
Deputies. This Soviet, according to the words in the above-men- 
tioned Manifesto, is the actual revolutionary government (the corre- 
spondents of the Times and the Temps always speak of the ex- 
istence of two governments in Russia). Peace negotiations are to 
be conducted not with the bourgeois governments, but with the 
proletariat of all the warring countries. The Manifesto calls upon 
all the workers, peasants and soldiers to send their representatives 
to the Soviet 

These are the only possible Socialist, revolutionary tactics. 

The third trend is represented by Chkheidze and his friends. 



80 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

They are always vacillating, and this is reflected in the remarks of 
the Times and the Temps, now praising, now execrating them. When 
Chkheidze refused to enter the second Provisional Government, 70 
when he declared that the war was an imperialist war, he was 
pursuing a proletarian policy. When, however, Chkheidze took 
part in the first government (the committee of the Duma) ; when 
he, in the third paragraph of his proclamation, demanded adequate 
participation in the government of representatives of the Russian 
working class (participation of internationalists in the government 
of the imperialist war!) ; when he, together with Skobelev, invited 
this imperialist government to open peace negotiations (instead of 
declaring to the workers that the bourgeoisie is hound hand and 
foot by the interests of financial capital, that it cannot break with 
imperialism) ; when friends of Chkheidze Tuliakov and Skobelev 
travel about at the order of the government of Guchkov and 
Miliukov, pacifying the soldiers who are rising against the liberal- 
bourgeois generals (the killing of Admiral Nepenin), then Chkheidze 
and his friends are following a most vile bourgeois policy, and 
are doing harm to the revolution. 

Marx teaches us, on the basis of the experience of the Commune 
of 1871, that "the working class cannot simply lay hold of the 
ready-made state-machine and make it serve its own purposes." 71 
The proletariat must smash this machine (the army, the police, 
the bureaucracy). It is this that the opportunists are denying or 
minimising. This is the most important practical lesson to be 
learned from the Paris Commune and the Russian Revolution of 
1905. 

We are different from the Anarchists in that we recognise that a 
government is necessary to accomplish a revolutionary overturn. 
But we differ from the opportunists and the Kautskians in that we 
insist that we do not need a "ready-made" state-machine as it 
exists in democratic bourgeois republics, but actual power in the 
hands of the armed and organised workers. This is the state that 
we need. In their essence the Commune of 1871 and the Soviets 
of Workers' Deputies in Russia in 1905 and 1917 were just such a 
state. On this foundation we must build further. 
Our conditions for peace are as follows: 

1. The Soviet of Workers* Deputies, being a revolutionary gov- 
ernment, declares forthwith that it does not regard itself bound by 
any treaties made by the Tsar or the bourgeoisie. 



TASKS OF THE R. S. D. L. P. IN THE REVOLUTION 81 

2. It publishes forthwith all these predatory treaties. 

3. It openly proposes to all the belligerents the immediate ces- 
sation of military operations. 

4. As a basis for peace it suggests the liberation of all the 
colonies and all the oppressed nations. 

5. It declares that it has no confidence in all the bourgeois gov- 
ernments. It calls upon the workers of the world to overthrow 
their governments. 

6. The war loans contracted by the bourgeoisie must be paid 
exclusively by the capitalists. 

This policy would attract the majority of workers and poorest 
peasants to the Social-Democracy. The confiscation of the noble- 
men's lands would be assured; this, however, would not yet be 
Socialism. 

For such peace conditions we, too, would be willing to carry on a 
revolutionary war. In such a revolutionary war we could depend 
on the help of the revolutionary proletariat. 

Volksrecht [Zurich], Nos. 77 and 78, March 31 and April ^ 1917. Trans- 
lated from the German. 



FAREWELL LETTER TO THE SWISS WORKERS 73 

COMRADES, Swiss WORKERS: 

Leaving Switzerland for Russia, in order to continue the revolu- 
tionary-internationalist work in our country, we, members of the 
Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party united under the Cen- 
tral Committee (in distinction from another party bearing the same 
name but united under the Organisation Committee), wish to con- 
vey to you our fraternal greetings and expression of our profound 
comradely gratitude for your comradely attitude to the political 
emigrants. 

If the avowed social-patriots and opportunists, the Swiss Gruetli- 
ans who, like the social-patriots of all countries, have deserted the 
camp of the proletariat for the camp of the bourgeoisie; if these 
people have openly called upon you to fight against the harmful 
influence of foreigners upon the Swiss labour movement; if the dis- 
guised social-patriots and opportunists who constitute a majority 
among the leaders of the Swiss Socialist Party have been pursuing 
similar tactics under cover, we think it necessary to declare that on 
the part of the revolutionary Socialist workers of Switzerland hold- 
ing internationalist views we have met with warm sympathy, and 
have derived a great deal of benefit from our comradely relations 
with them. 

We have always been particularly careful in dealing with those 
questions of the Swiss movement, acquaintance with which requires 
prolonged participation in the local movement. But those of us 
who have been members of the Swiss Socialist Party, the number 
hardly exceeding from ten to fifteen, have regarded it as our duty 
steadfastly to maintain our point of view, i. e., the point of view 
of the "Zimmerwald Left," 73 on general and fundamental ques- 
tions pertaining to the international and Socialist movement, to 
fight determinedly not only social-patriotism, but also the line of 
the so-called "centre" to which belong R. Grimm, F. Schneider, 
Jacques Schmidt, and others in Switzerland, Kautsky, Haase, and 
the Ar belts gemeinschaft in Germany, 74 Longuet, Pressemane, and 
others in France, Snowden, Ramsay MacDonald, and others in 

82 



FAREWELL LETTER TO THE SWISS WORKERS 83 

England, Turati, Treves, and their friends in Italy, and the above- 
mentioned party headed by the Organisation Committee (Axel- 
rod, Martov, Chkheidze, Skobelev, and others) in Russia. 

We have worked hand in hand with those revolutionary Social- 
Democrats of Switzerland who were grouped about the magazine, 
Freie Jugend; 76 who formulated and circulated (in the German 
and French languages) the proposals for the holding of a ref- 
erendum regarding a party conference in April, 1917, to take up 
the question of the party's attitude to the war; who at the convention 
of the Zurich Canton in Toss introduced the resolution of the 
young and the "Lefts'* dealing with the question of war; who in 
March, 1917, issued and circulated in certain localities of French 
Switzerland a leaflet in the German and French languages entitled, 
"Our Conditions of Peace," etc. 

We are sending our fraternal greetings to these comrades, with 
whom we have been working together, in agreement. 

We have not, and we never had, the slightest doubt that the im- 
perialist government of England will under no circumstances per- 
mit the return to Russia of Russian internationalists, who are ir- 
revocably against the imperialist government of Guchkov-Miliukov 
and Co., and irrevocably against the continuation of the imperialist 
war by Russia. 

In connection with this we must say a few words about our 
understanding of the tasks of the Russian Revolution. We deem 
this all the more necessary because through the Swiss workers 
we can and must address ourselves to the German, French, and 
Italian workers, who speak the same languages as the population 
of Switzerland that still enjoys the advantages of peace and the 
relatively greatest political freedom. 

We remain unconditionally loyal to the declaration which we 
made in the central organ of our party, No. 47 of the Social- 
Democrat (October 13, 1915), published in Geneva. We stated 
there that should the revolution prove victorious in Russia, and 
should a republican government, a government intent on continu- 
ing the imperialist war, a war in league with the imperialist bour- 
geoisie of England and France, a war for the purpose of seizing 
Constantinople, Armenia, Galicia, etc., etc., find itself in power, that 
we would be most resolutely opposed to such a government, that 
we would be against the "defence of the fatherland" in such a war. 

A contingency approaching the above has now arisen. The new 



84 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

government of Russia, which has conducted negotiations with the 
brother of Nicholas II with regard to the restoration of the mon- 
archy in Russia, and in which the most important and influential 
posts have been given to the monarchists Lvov and Guchkov, this 
government is trying to deceive the workers by the slogan, "the 
Germans must overthrow Wilhelm" (correct, but why not add: 
the English, the Italians, etc., must do the same to their own 
kings; and the Russians must remove their monarchists Lvov and 
Guchkov?). This government, by using the above slogan, while 
refusing to publish the imperialist, predatory treaties concluded by 
the Tsar with France, England, etc., and confirmed by the govern- 
ment of Guchkov-Miliukov-Kerensky, is trying to represent its im- 
perialist war with Germany as a war of "defence" (L e., as a just 
war, legitimate even from the point of view of the proletariat) 
is trying to represent a war for the defence of the bloodthirsty, 
imperialist, predatory aims of capital Russian, English, etc., as 
the "defence" of the republic (which does not yet exist in Russia, 
and which the Lvovs and the Guchkovs have not even promised to 
establish) . 

If there is truth in the latest telegraphic reports that the avowed 
Russian social-patriots (such as Plekhanov, Zasulich, Potresov, 
etc.) have entered into something like a rapprochement with the 
party of the "centre," the party of the "Organisation Committee," 
the party of Chkheidze, Skobelev, etc., on the basis of a common 
slogan: "While the Germans do not overthrow Wilhelm, our war 
remains a defencive war," if this is true, then we shall redouble 
our energy in carrying, on the struggle against the party of 
Chkheidze, Skobelev, etc., which we have always waged against that 
party for its opportunist, vacillating, unstable political behaviour. 

Our slogan is: No support to the government of Guchkov-Miliu- 
fcov! He who says that such support is necessary in order to fight 
against the restoration of the monarchy deceives the people. On 
the contrary, it is this very government of Guchkov that has already 
conducted negotiations concerning the restoration of the monarchy 
in Russia. Only the arming of the proletariat can prevent Guchkov 
and Co. from restoring monarchy in Russia. Only the proletariat of 
Russia and the rest of Europe, remaining loyal to internationalism, 
is capable of ridding humanity of the horrors of the imperialist war. 

We do not close our eyes to the tremendous difficulties facing the 
revolutionary-internationalist vanguard of the Russian proletariat. 



FAREWELL LETTER TO THE SWISS WORKERS 85 

In these times most sudden and swift changes are possible. In No. 
47 of the Social-Democrat we gave a clear and direct answer to the 
question that naturally arises: What would our party do, if the 
revolution placed it immediately in power? Our answer was: 1. We 
would forthwith offer peace to all the warring peoples; 2. We would 
announce our peace conditions consisting of immediate liberation 
of all the colonies and all the oppressed and non-sovereign peoples; 
3. We would immediately begin and carry out the liberation of all 
the peoples oppressed by the Great-Russians; 4. We do not deceive 
ourselves for one moment, we know that such conditions would be 
unacceptable not only to the monarchist but also to the republican 
bourgeoisie of Germany, and not only to Germany, but also to the 
capitalist governments of England and France. 

We would be forced to carry on a revolutionary struggle against 
the German and not only the German bourgeoisie. This struggle 
we would carry on. We are not pacifists. We are opposed to im- 
perialist wars over the division of spoils among the capitalists, but 
we have always considered it absurd for the revolutionary proletariat 
to disavow revolutionary wars that may prove necessary in the in- 
terests of Socialism. 

The task that we outlined in No. 47 of the Social-Democrat is of 
gigantic proportions. It can be solved only by a long series of 
great class conflicts between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. 
However, it was not our impatience, nor our wishes, but the ob- 
jective conditions created by the imperialist war that brought hu- 
manity to an impasse, that placed it in a dilemma: either to allow 
the destruction of more millions of lives and utterly ruin the entire 
European civilisation, or to hand over the power in all the civilised 
countries to the revolutionary proletariat, to realise the Socialist 
overturn. 

The great honour of beginning the series of revolutions caused 
with objective inevitability by the war has fallen to the Russian 
proletariat. But the idea that the Russian proletariat is the chosen 
revolutionary proletariat among the workers of the world is abso- 
lutely alien to us. We know full well that the proletariat of Russia 
is less organised, less prepared, and less class-conscious than die 
proletariat of other countries. It is not its special qualities but 
rather the special coincidence of historical circumstances that has 
made the proletariat of Russia for a certain, perhaps very short 



86 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

time, the vanguard of the revolutionary proletariat of the whole 
world. 

Russia is a peasant country, it is one of the most backward of 
European countries. Socialism cannot triumph there immediately. 
But the present character of the country in the face of a vast reserve 
of land retained by noblemen landowners may, to judge from the 
experience of 1905, give tremendous sweep to the bourgeois- 
democratic revolution in Russia, and may make our revolution a 
prologue to the world Socialist revolution, a step forward in that 
direction. 

In the struggle for these ideas, which have been fully confirmed 
by the experience of 1905 and the spring of 1917, in the struggle 
against all the other parties, our party was formed, and for these 
ideas we shall continue to struggle. 

In Russia Socialism cannot triumph directly and immediately. 
But the peasant mass may bring the inevitable and ripe agrarian 
upheaval to the point of confiscating all the immense holdings of 
the landowners. This has always been our slogan and now the 
Petrograd and the Central Committees of our party, as well as the 
paper of our party, Pravda, have again brought it to the fore. The 
proletariat is going to fight for this slogan without closing its eyes 
to the inevitability of cruel class conflicts between the hired agri- 
cultural workers and the impoverished peasants closely allied with 
them on the one hand and the prosperous peasants whose position 
has been strengthened by the agrarian "reform" 76 of Stolypin 
(1907-1914) on the other. One must not forget that 104 peasant 
Deputies in the first (1906) and second (1907) Dumas came for- 
ward with a revolutionary agrarian bill demanding the nationalisa- 
tion of all lands and the management of such lands by local com- 
mittees elected on the basis of complete democracy. 

Such an overturn would, in itself, not be Socialism as yet. But 
it would give a great impetus to the world labour movement. It 
would greatly strengthen the position of a Socialist overturn in 
Russia, and of its influence on the agricultural workers and the 
poorest peasants. It would enable the city proletariat to develop, 
on the strength of this influence, a revolutionary organisation like the 
Soviets of Workers' Deputies, to replace by them the old instru- 
ments of oppression used by the bourgeois states, the army, the 
police, the bureaucracy; to put into effect, under the pressure of the 
unbearably burdensome imperialist war and its consequences, a 



FAREWELL LETTER TO THE SWISS WORKERS 87 

series of revolutionary measures to insure control over the produc- 
tion and distribution of goods. 

The Russian proletariat single-handed cannot bring the Socialist 
revolution to a victorious conclusion. But it can give the Russian 
Revolution a mighty sweep such as would create most favourable 
conditions for a Socialist revolution, and would, in a sense, start it. 
It can help create more favourable circumstances for its most im- 
portant, most trustworthy and most reliable collaborator, the Euro- 
pean and the American Socialist proletariat, to join in the decisive 
battles. 

Let the sceptics despair because of the temporary triumph within 
the European Socialist movement of such disgusting lackeys of the 
imperialist bourgeoisie as the Scheidemanns, the Legiens, the Davids 
and Co. in Germany; Sembat, Guesde, Renaudel and Co. in France; 
the Fabians 77 and the Labourites 78 in England. "We are firmly 
convinced that this filthy froth on the surface of the world labour 
movement will be soon swept away by the waves of the revolution. 

In Germany there is already a seething unrest of the proletarian 
masses that contributed so much to humanity and Socialism by 
their persistent, unyielding, sustained organisational work during 
the many decades of the period of European "calm" from 1871 to 
1914. The future of German Socialism is represented not by the 
traitors, the Scheidemanns, Legiens, Davids and Co., nor by the 
vacillating and spineless ones, Haase, Kautsky and their ilk, who 
have been enfeebled by the routine of the period of political 
"peace." 

The future belongs to that tendency which has given us Karl 
Liebknecht, which has created the "Spartacus group," 79 which has 
carried on its propaganda in the Bremen Arbeiterpolitik.* 

The objective circumstances of the imperialist war make it certain 
that the revolution will not be limited to the first stage of the 
Russian Revolution, that the revolution will not be limited to Russia. 

The German proletariat is the most trustworthy, the most reliable 
ally of the Russian and the world proletarian revolution. 

When in November, 1914, our party had put forward the slogan 
"Turn the imperialist war into a civil war" of the oppressed against 
the oppressors for the attainment of Socialism, this slogan was met 
with the hatred and malicious ridicule of the social-patriots and 
with the incredulous, sceptical, meek and expectant silence of the 
Social-Democratic "centre." David, the German social-chauvinist 



88 BEFORE THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

and social-imperialist, called it "insane," while Mr. Plekhanov, the 
representative of Russian (and Anglo-French) social-chauvinism, of 
Socialism in words, imperialism in deeds, called it "a dream farce" 
(Mittelding zwischen Traum und Komoedie * ) . The representatives 
of the "centre" confined themselves to silence or to cheap little jokes 
about this "straight line drawn in empty space." 

Now, after March, 1917, only the blind can fail to see that this 
slogan is correct. The turning of the imperialist war into civil 
war is becoming a fact. 

Long live the proletarian revolution that is beginning in Europe! 

Upon the instruction of the departing comrades, members of the 
R.S.-D.L.P. (united under the Central Committee) , who have passed 
on this letter at a meeting held April 8, 1917. 

N. LENIN. 

Written April 8, 1917, and first published from manuscript in the Proletar- 
skaia Revolutsia, No. 2, 1921. 

* Something between a dream and a comedy. Ed. 



ARTICLES, REPORTS AND SPEECHES IMMEDIATELY AFTER 

THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 
FROM APRIL 17 TO APRIL 28, 1917 



^* 



v 

** 



. 0^/1 



$,*v.- 



+ ^. e^^ 






Facsimile of the First Page of the "Second Letter" of Lenin's 
"Letters from Afar," March 22, 1917 (see p. 36). 



HOW WE ARRIVED 81 

REPORT TO THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE [OF THE SOVIET] MADE BT 

LENIN AND ZINOVIEV UPON THE INSTRUCTION OF THE COMRADES 

WHO CAME FROM SWITZERLAND 

NEWS that the English and French governments have denied the 
emigrant-internationalists passage to Russia has already reached 
the Socialist press. 

The thirty-two political emigrants of various party affiliations 
(among them 19 Bolsheviks, 6 Bundists, 82 3 adherents of the Paris 
internationalist paper Nashe Slovo) 83 who have arrived here regard 
it as their duty to make known the following: 

We have in our possession a series of documents which we will 
make known as soon as we receive them from Stockholm (we have 
left them behind because the representatives of the English govern- 
ment are complete masters on the Swedish-Russian border), and 
which will give a clear picture of the deplorable role played by the 
above-named "Allied" governments in this matter. On this point we 
shall add only the following : The Zurich Committee for the evacua- 
tion of emigrants which comprises representatives of twenty-three 
groups (among them the Central Committee, the Organisation Com- 
mittee, the Socialists-Revolutionists, the Bund, etc.) has unanimously 
passed a resolution stating publicly that the English government 
had decided to rob the emigrant internationalists of the opportunity 
to return to their native land and to take part in the activities against 
the imperialist war. 

Ever since the first days of the revolution this intention of the 
English government had become quite clear to the emigrants. At 
a conference of representatives of the Socialist-Revolutionist Party 
(M. A. Natanson), the Organisation Committee of the R.S.-D.L.P. 
(L. Martov) , and the Bund (Kossovsky) , a plan was conceived (it 
was proposed by L. Martov) to obtain for these emigrants passage 
through Germany in exchange for the German and Austrian pris- 
oners interned in Russia. 

A number of telegrams to this effect were sent to Russia, while 
steps were taken through the Swiss Socialists to carry out this plan, 

91 



92 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

The telegrams sent to Russia were detained, apparently by our 
"Provisional Revolutionary Government" (or its supporters). 

After two weeks* waiting for an answer from Russia, we decided 
to carry out the above-mentioned plan by ourselves (other emigrants 
decided to wait some time, being still unconvinced that the Pro- 
visional Government would actually fail to take measures for the 
passage of all emigrants). The whole matter was in the hands of 
the Swiss Socialist-internationalist, Fritz Platten. He concluded a 
carefully written agreement with the German ambassador in Switzer- 
land. The text of this agreement will be published later. The 
main points are: 1. All emigrants, regardless of their opinions on the 
war, are allowed passage. 2. The railway car used by the emigrants 
has the privileges of extra-territoriality; no one has a right to enter 
it without Platten's permission; there shall be no control either 
of passports or of baggage. 3. The travellers agree to agitate in 
Russia that the emigrants allowed to pass Germany be exchanged 
for a corresponding number of Austro-Germans interned in Russia. 

All the efforts of the German Social-Democratic majority to enter 
into communication with the travellers have been firmly repulsed 
by the latter. The car was accompanied by Platten all of the way. 
The latter had decided to go with us to Petrograd but was detained 
on the Russian [Finnish] border (Torneo) let us hope, only 
temporarily. All negotiations were conducted with the participation 
of and in complete accord with a number of foreign Socialist- 
internationalists. The log of the journey was signed by two French 
Socialists, Loriot and Guilbeaux, and by a Socialist from the Lieb- 
knecht group (Hartstein) , by the Swiss Socialist Platten, the Polish 
Social-Democrat Bronski, the Swiss Social-Democratic deputies, 
Lindhagen, Carlson, Strom, Ture Nerman and others. 

"Were Karl Liebknecht in Russia now, Miliukov would permit 
him to go to Germany; the Bethmann-Hollwegs permit you, Russian 
internationalists, to pass into Russia. It is for you to go to Russia 
and fight there against both German and Russian imperialism." 
This is what our internationalist comrades told us. We think they 
were right. We shall present a report of the journey to the Execu- 
tive Committee of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 
We hope that the latter will obtain the release of a corresponding 
number of interned Germans, in the first place of the prominent 
Austrian Socialist, Otto Bauer, and that it will obtain a permit for 
all emigrants, not only the social-patriots, to return to Russia. We 



HOW WE ARRIVED 93 

hope that the Executive Committee will put an end to the unheard-of 
state of affairs, where no papers to the left of the Riech 84 are per- 
mitted to leave Russia, and even the Manifesto of the Soviet of 
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies 85 to the workers of the world, is 
not permitted to get into the foreign press. 

Prwda, No, 24, April 18, 1917. 



SPEECH DEALING WITH THE QUESTION OF THE JOURNEY 

THROUGH GERMANY, DELIVERED AT THE SESSION OF 

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE PETRO- 

GRAD SOVIET ON APRIL 17, 1917 

EXCERPTS FROM THE MINUTES 

IN order to put a stop to the lies spread by the bourgeois press, 
it is necessary that the resolution offered by Comrade Zinoviev be 
adopted. It proposes that emigrants of all political views be allowed 
to pass. We have assumed no obligations. We have merely prom- 
ised that on our return we would appeal to the workers to get their 
co-operation in the matter of exchange. Once you recognise such 
an exchange as proper, you implicitly refute all the lies. Otherwise 
you may furnish ground for insinuation and slander. . . . 

First published in Minutes, The Petrograd Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers 9 
Deputies, 1925. 



94 



SPEECH DELIVERED AT A CAUCUS OF THE BOLSHEVIK 

MEMBERS OF THE ALL-RUSSIAN CONFERENCE OF 

THE SOVIETS OF WORKERS' AND SOLDIERS' 

DEPUTIES, APRIL 17, 1917 8 * 

NOTES OF A PARTICIPANT AT THE MEETING 

I HAVE outlined a few theses which I shall supply with some 
commentaries. I could not, because of the lack of time, present 
a thorough, systematic report. 

The hasic question is our attitude towards the war. The basic 
things confronting one as he reads about Russia or observes con- 
ditions here are the triumph of defencism, the triumph of the traitors 
to Socialism, the deception of the masses by the bourgeoisie. What 
strikes one particularly is that here in Russia the situation in the 
Socialist movement is the same as in other countries: defencism, 
"saving the fatherland." The difference is that nowhere is there 
the degree of freedom we have. That is why the responsibility 
before the whole international proletariat falls on us. The new 
government, like the preceding one, is imperialistic, despite the 
promise of a republic it is imperialistic through and through. 

[THE THESES] 

1. In our attitude toward the war not the slightest concession must be made 
to "revolutionary defencism,** for under the new government of Lvov and Co., 
owing to the capitalist nature of this government, the war on Russia's part 
remains a predatory imperialist war. 

The class-conscious proletariat may give its consent to a revolutionary war 
actually justifying revolutionary defencism, only on condition (a) that all 
power be transferred to the proletariat and its ally, the poorest section of the 
peasantry; (b) that all annexations he renounced in deeds, not merely in 
words; (c) that there be a complete break, in practice, with all interests of 
capital. 

In view of the undoubted honesty of the mass of rank and file representa- 
tives of revolutionary defencism who accept the war only as a necessity and 
not as a means of conquest, in view of their being deceived by the bourgeoisie, 
it is necessary most thoroughly, persistently, patiently to explain to them their 
error, to explain the inseparable connection between capital and the imperialist 
war, to prove that without the overthrow of capital it is impossible to conclude 
the war with a really democratic, non-oppressive peace. 

This view is to be widely propagated among the army units in the field. 

Fraternisation. 

95 



96 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

Not even under the new government, which remains an im- 
perialist government, must we permit the slightest concession to 
defencism in our attitude toward the war. The masses regard 
this thing from a practical, not a theoretical, standpoint. They say: 
"I want to defend the fatherland, but not to seize foreign lands." 
When may one consider a war as one's own? When there is a 
complete renunciation of annexations. 

The masses approach this question not from a theoretical but 
from a practical viewpoint. Our mistake lies in our theoretical 
approach. The class-conscious proletarian may consent to a revolu- 
tionary war that actually overthrows revolutionary defencism. Be- 
fore the representatives of the soldiers the matter must be put 
in a practical way, otherwise nothing will come of it. We are 
not at all pacifists. The fundamental question is: which class is 
waging the war? The capitalist class, tied to the banks, cannot 
wage any but an imperialist war. The working class can. Steklov 
and Chkheidze have forgotten everything. In reading the resolu- 
tion passed by the Soviet of Workers* Deputies, one is amazed that 
people who claim to be Socialists could pass such a resolution. 

What is peculiar in Russia is the tremendously rapid transition 
from savage violence to most subtle deception. The basic condition 
is the renunciation of annexations not in words, but in deeds. The 
Riech is raging about the statement published in the Social-Demo- 
crat B7 that the incorporation of Courland into Russia is annexation. 
Annexation means the incorporation of any country distinguished 
by national peculiarities, every incorporation of nations against their 
will, regardless of whether they have a language of their own or 
not, as long as they feel themselves to be a distinct people. This 
is a prejudice of the Great-Russians, cultivated for centuries. 

The war can be brought to an end only through a complete break 
with international capital. The war was caused not by separate 
individuals, but by finance capital. To break with finance capital 
is not a simple matter, but to end the war is not a simple matter 
either. To suppose that the war can be stopped at will by one 
side is childish and naive . . Zimmerwald, Kienthal. . . . The 
duty of defending the honour of international Socialism devolves 
upon us more than upon anybody else. The difficulty of the 
approach. . . . 

In view of the apparent existence of a defencist sentiment among 
the masses who accept the war only as a necessity and not as an 



SPEECH AT CAUCUS OF BOLSHEVIKS 97 

excuse for making conquests, we must explain to them, thoroughly, 
persistently, and patiently, that it is impossible to end the war by 
a non-oppressive peace, unless capital is overthrown. This idea 
must be broadened and developed to the widest extent. The sol- 
diers demand a concrete answer to the question how to end the 
war. But to tell the people that we can end the war solely through 
the good intentions of a few individuals is political charlatanism. 
The masses must be warned. Revolution is a difficult thing. Errors 
are unavoidable. Our mistake has been that we [have not exposed?] 
revolutionary defencism to its very roots. Revolutionary defencism 
is treason to Socialism. It is not enough to limit ourselves to. ... 
We must admit the mistake. What is to be done? Educate. How 
to give . . . who do not know what Socialism is. ... We are no 
charlatans. We must base ourselves only on the class-consciousness 
of the masses. Should we even find ourselves in the minority so 
be it. It sometimes pays to forego for a while a position of 
leadership; one must not fear to be in the minority. When the 
masses declare they want no conquests, I believe them. When 
Guchkov and Lvov say they want no conquests they lie. When 
the worker says he wants to defend his country, it is the instinct of 
an oppressed man that speaks in him. 

2. The peculiarity of the present situation in Russia is that it represents a 
transition from the first stage of the revolution, which, because of the inade- 
quate organisation and insufficient class-consciousness of the proletariat, led 
to the assumption of power hy the bourgeoisie, to its second stage which is to 
place power in the hands of the proletariat and the poorest strata of the 
peasantry. 

This transition is characterised, on the one hand, by a maximum of legality 
(Russia is now the freest of all the belligerent countries of the world) ; on 
the other, by the absence of oppression of the masses, and, finally, by the 
trustingly ignorant attitude of the masses toward the capitalist government, the 
worst enemy of peace and Socialism. 

This peculiar situation demands of us an ability to adapt ourselves to the 
specific conditions of party work amidst vast masses of the proletariat just 
awakened to political life. 

Why have the workers not seized power? Steklov offers various 
alibis. That's nonsense. The point is this: the proletariat is not 
sufficiently class-conscious and not sufficiently organised. This 
we must admit; the material force is in the hands of the proletariat, 
but the bourgeoisie has proved to be more class-conscious and 
better prepared. This is a monstrous fact, but we must directly 
and frankly admit it, and tell the people that we have failed to 



98 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

assume power because we are not class-conscious and not organised. 
. . . The ruin of millions of people, the death of millions. . . . 
The most advanced countries are perishing, hence they will be 
confronted by the problem. . . . 

The transition from the first to the second stage the passing of 
power to the proletariat and the peasantry is characterised on the 
one hand by a maximum of legality (Russia at present is the freest, 
the most advanced country in the world) on the other, by a 
trustingly ignorant attitude of the masses toward the government. 
Even our own Bolsheviks show confidence in the government. This 
can be explained only by the dazing effect of the revolution. It 
is the death of Socialism. You, comrades, have faith in the gov- 
ernment. In that case our ways must part. I would rather be 
in the minority. One Liebknecht is worth more than 110 defencists 
of the Steklov and Chkheidze type. If you sympathise with Lieb- 
knecht, yet extend even one finger [to the defencists], you are 
betraying international Socialism. If we repudiate those people 
. . . then every one who is oppressed will come to us, for he will 
be impelled to do so by the war, there being no other escape for 
him. 

We must talk to the people without using Latin words, but 
simply, intelligibly. It has a right ... we must adapt ourselves 
... to pass, but it is necessary. Our policy will prove right in the 
end. 

3. No support to the Provisional Government; exposure of the utter fal- 
sity of all its promises, particularly those relating to the renunciation of annexa- 
tions. Unmasking, instead of admitting, the illusion-breeding "demand'* that 
this government, a government of capitalists, cease being imperialistic. 

The Pravda demands that the government renounce annexations. 
To demand that a government of capitalists renounce annexations 
is balderdash, a crying mockery at ... 

From the scientific point of view, it is the height of deception, 
which the entire international proletariat conducted. ... It is high 
time to admit the mistake. We have had enough of felicitations 
and resolutions, it is time to get down to business. We must pro- 
ceed with a business-like, sober . . . 

4. Recognition of the fact that in most of the Soviets of Workers' Deputies 
our party constitutes a minority, and a small one at that, in the face of the 
bloc of all the petty-bourgeois opportunist elements, from the People's Social- 
ists, Socialists-Revolutionists, down to the Organisation Committee (Chkheidze, 



SPEECH AT CAUCUS OF BOLSHEVIKS 99 

Tsereteli, etc., Steklov, etc., etc.), who have yielded to the influence of the 
bourgeoisie and have been extending this influence to the proletariat as well. 

It must be explained to the masses that the Soviet of Workers* Deputies is 
the only possible form of revolutionary government and that, therefore, our task 
is, while this government is submitting to the influence of the bourgeoisie, to 
present a patient, systematic, and persistent analysis of its errors and tactics, 
an analysis especially adapted to the practical needs of the masses. 

"While we are in the minority, we carry on the work of criticism and of 
exposing errors, advocating all along the necessity of transferring the entire 
power of state to the Soviets of "Workers' Deputies, so that the masses might 
learn from experience how to rid themselves of errors. 

We Bolsheviks are in the habit of adopting a maximum of 
revolutionism. But this is not enough. We must study the situation. 

The real government is the Soviet of Workers' Deputies. To 
think otherwise is to lapse into Anarchism. It is conceded that 
in the Soviet of Workers' Deputies our party is in the minority. 
We must make it clear to the masses that the Soviet is the only 
possible government, a government the kind of which, barring the 
Commune, the world has never seen. What if the majority in the 
Soviet share the defencist viewpoint? That cannot be helped. Our 
task under the circumstances is to engage in patient, systematic, and 
persistent exposure of the error of their tactics. 

While we are in the minority, we carry on the work of criticism, 
in order to save the masses from being hoodwinked. We do not 
want the masses to take us at our word. We are no charlatans. 
We want the masses to rectify their errors by actual experience. 

The proclamation of the Soviet of Workers* Deputies contains 
not one word manifesting class-consciousness. It is all phrases! 
The one thing responsible for the failure of all revolutions is the 
high-sounding phrase, flattery of the revolutionary people. Marx- 
ism teaches how to avoid succumbing to a revolutionary phrase, 
particularly in times like these, when high-sounding phrases are 
so much in vogue. 

5. Not a parliamentary republic, a return to it from the Soviet of Work- 
ers* Deputies would be a step backward but a republic of Soviets of "Workers*, 
Agricultural Labourers* and Peasants* Deputies throughout the land, from top 
to bottom. 

Abolition of the police, the army, the bureaucracy.* 

All officers to be elected and to be subject to recall at any time, their salaries 
not to exceed the average wage of a competent worker. 

This is the lesson taught by the French Commune, a lesson 
forgotten by Kautsky, but taught by the workers in 1905 and 1917. 

* Substituting for the standing army the universal arming of the people. 



98 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

assume power because we are not class-conscious and not organised. 
. . . The ruin of millions of people, the death of millions. . . . 
The most advanced countries are perishing, hence they will be 
confronted by the problem. . . . 

The transition from the first to the second stage the passing of 
power to the proletariat and the peasantry is characterised on the 
one hand by a maximum of legality (Russia at present is the freest, 
the most advanced country in the world) on the other, by a 
trustingly ignorant attitude of the masses toward the government. 
Even our own Bolsheviks show confidence in the government. This 
can be explained only by the dazing effect of the revolution. It 
is the death of Socialism. You, comrades, have faith in the gov- 
ernment. In that case our ways must part. I would rather be 
in the minority. One Liebknecht is worth more than 110 defencists 
of the Steklov and Chkheidze type. If you sympathise with Lieb- 
knecht, yet extend even one finger [to the defencists], you are 
betraying international Socialism. If we repudiate those people 
. . . then every one who is oppressed will come to us, for he will 
be impelled to do so by the war, there being no other escape for 
him. 

We must talk to the people without using Latin words, but 
simply, intelligibly. It has a right ... we must adapt ourselves 
... to pass, but it is necessary. Our policy will prove right in the 
end. 

3. No support to the Provisional Government; exposure of the utter fal- 
sity of all its promises, particularly those relating to the renunciation of annexa- 
tions. Unmasking, instead of admitting, the illusion-breeding "demand" that 
this government, a government of capitalists, cease being imperialistic. 

The Pravda demands that the government renounce annexations. 
To demand that a government of capitalists renounce annexations 
is balderdash, a crying mockery at ... 

From the scientific point of view, it is the height of deception, 
which the entire international proletariat conducted. ... It is high 
time to admit the mistake. We have had enough of felicitations 
and resolutions, it is time to get down to business. We must pro- 
ceed with a business-like, sober . . . 

4. Recognition of the fact that in most of the Soviets of Workers' Deputies 
our party constitutes a minority, and a small one at that, in the face of the 
bloc of all the petty-bourgeois opportunist elements, from the People's Social- 
ists, Socialists-Revolutionists, down to the Organisation Committee (Chkheidze, 



SPEECH AT CAUCUS OF BOLSHEVIKS 99 

Tsereteli, etc., Steklov, etc., etc.), who have yielded to the influence of the 
bourgeoisie and have been extending this influence to the proletariat as well. 

It must be explained to the masses that the Soviet of Workers* Deputies is 
the only possible form of revolutionary government and that, therefore, our task 
is, while this government is submitting to the influence of the bourgeoisie, to 
present a patient, systematic, and persistent analysis of its errors and tactics, 
an analysis especially adapted to the practical needs of the masses. 

While we are in the minority, we carry on the work of criticism and of 
exposing errors, advocating all along the necessity of transferring the entire 
power of state to the Soviets of Workers' Deputies, so that the masses might 
learn from experience how to rid themselves of errors. 

We Bolsheviks are in the habit of adopting a maximum of 
revolutionism. But this is not enough. We must study the situation. 

The real government is the Soviet of Workers' Deputies. To 
think otherwise is to lapse into Anarchism. It is conceded that 
in the Soviet of Workers' Deputies our party is in the minority. 
We must make it clear to the masses that the Soviet is the only 
possible government, a government the kind of which, barring the 
Commune, the world has never seen. What if the majority in the 
Soviet share the defencist viewpoint? That cannot be helped. Our 
task under the circumstances is to engage in patient, systematic, and 
persistent exposure of the error of their tactics. 

While we are in the minority, we carry on the work of criticism, 
in order to save the masses from being hoodwinked. We do not 
want the masses to take us at our word. We are no charlatans. 
We want the masses to rectify their errors by actual experience. 

The proclamation of the Soviet of Workers' Deputies contains 
not one word manifesting class-consciousness. It is all phrases! 
The one thing responsible for the failure of all revolutions is the 
high-sounding phrase, flattery of the revolutionary people. Marx- 
ism teaches how to avoid succumbing to a revolutionary phrase, 
particularly in times like these, when high-sounding phrases are 
so much in vogue. 

5. Not a parliamentary republic, a return to it from the Soviet of Work- 
ers' Deputies would be a step backward but a republic of Soviets of Workers', 
Agricultural Labourers* and Peasants* Deputies throughout the land, from top 
to bottom. 

Abolition of the police, the army, the bureaucracy.* 

All officers to be elected and to be subject to recall at any time, their salaries 
not to exceed the average wage of a competent worker. 

This is the lesson taught by the French Commune, a lesson 
forgotten by Kautsky, but taught by the workers in 1905 and 1917. 

* Substituting for the standing army the universal arming of the people. 



100 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

The experience of these years teaches us not to permit the re- 
establishment of the police, not to permit the re-establishment of 
the old army. 

The programme must be changed, it has become antiquated. The 
Soviet of Workers' Deputies is a step towards Socialism. No police, 
no army, no officialdom. Convocation of the Constituent Assembly 
but by whom? Resolutions are written to be filed and forgotten. 
I would be glad to see the Constituent Assembly convoked to- 
morrow, but to believe that Guchkov will convoke the Constituent 
Assembly is naive. AH this talk about forcing the Provisional 
Government to convoke the Constituent Assembly is pure prattle, 
is wholesale deception. There were revolutions in the past, but 
the police has remained; there were revolutions in the past, but all 
the officials, etc., have remained. This is the reason for the failure 
of the revolutions. The Soviet is the only government that can 
convoke the Assembly. We have all embraced the Soviets of 
Workers' Deputies, but their meaning we have not grasped. From 
this form of government we are drawing back toward the Interna- 
tional that follows at the tail of the bourgeoisie. 

The bourgeois republic cannot settle the question [of war], for 
this question can be settled only on an international scale. We 
do not promise to liberate . . . but we say that only under this 
form (Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies) can this be done. 
No other government but that of the Soviets of Workers and Agri- 
cultural Labourers. If we talk about the Commune, they won't 
understand. But if we say: replace the police by a Soviet of 
Workers' and Agricultural Labourers' Deputies, learn how to rule, 
there is no one to stop us [this they will understand]. 

The art of government cannot be gotten out of books. Try, 
make mistakes, learn how to govern. 

6. In the agrarian programme, the emphasis must be shifted to the Soviets of 
Agricultural Labourers* Deputies. 

Confiscation of all private lands. 

Nationalisation of all lands in the country, and management of such lands 
by local Soviets of Agricultural Labourers* and Peasants* Deputies. A separate 
organisation of Soviets of Deputies of the poorest peasants. Creation of 
model agricultural establishments out of large estates (from one hundred to 
three hundred desiatinas,* in accordance with local and other conditions and 
with the estimates of local institutions) under the control of the Soviet of 
Agricultural Labourers' Deputies, and at public expense. 

* A desiatina equals 2,7 acres. Ed. 



SPEECH AT CAUCUS OF BOLSHEVIKS 101 

What is the peasantry? We do not know; there are no statistics; 
but we do know that it is a force. 

If they take the land, be sure that they will not return it to you, 
nor will they ask for your consent. The axis of the programme has 
shifted, the centre of gravity now is the Soviets of Agricultural 
Labourers' Deputies. If the revolution is not settled by the Russian 
peasant, it will not be settled by the German worker. 

A Tambov muzhik . . . 

No payment for one desiatina, one ruble for the second, two rubles 
for the third. We will take the land, and the landowner will not 
be able to get it back. 

Agriculture on a communal basis. 

It is necessary to have a separate Soviet of Deputies of the 
poorest peasants. There is the rich muzhik, there is the agricultural 
labourer. Even if the latter is given land he will not be able to 
build up a farm anyway. Out of the large estates we must create 
model farms, whose management should be on a communal basis, 
and looked after by the Soviet of Agricultural Labourers' Deputies. 

There are large estates. 

7. Immediate merger of all the banks in the country into one general 
national hank, over which the Soviet of Workers* Deputies should have 
control. 

A bank is "a form of social accounting" (Marx). The war 
teaches economy; everybody knows that the banks are stealing the 
people's wealth. Banks are the nerve, the focus of national 
economy. We cannot take the banks into our own hands, but 
we advocate their unification under the control of the Soviet of 
Workers' Deputies. 

8. Not the "introduction'* of Socialism as an immediate task, hut the im- 
mediate placing of the Soviet of Workers* Deputies in control of social 
production and distribution of goods. 

Life and the revolution make the Constituent Assembly recede 
into the background. Laws are important not by virtue of their 
being written on paper but by virtue of the kind of people that put 
them into practice. There is proletarian dictatorship but one does 
not know what to do with it. Capitalism has become state capi- 
talism. . . . Marx had . . . that which has ripened into ac- 
tuality. * . . 



102 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

9. Party tasks: 

A. Immediate calling of a party convention. 

B. Changing the party programme, mainly: 

1. Concerning imperialism and the imperialist war. 

2. Concerning our attitude toward the state, and our demand for a 

"commune state." * 

3. Amending our antiquated minimum programme. 

C. Changing the name of the party.* * 

10. Rebuilding the International. 

Taking the initiative in the creation of a revolutionary International, 
an International against the social-chauvinists and against the 
centre**** 

To sum up. 

The Soviet of Workers' Deputies has been created, it exercises a 
tremendous influence. Instinctively everybody sympathises with 
it. There is a great deal more of revolutionary thought in this 
institution than in all the revolutionary phrases. If the Soviet of 
Workers' Deputies proves able to take the reins of government into 
its own hands the cause of freedom is assured. Even if you 
write the most ideal laws who will execute them? The same of- 
ficials, but these are connected with the bourgeoisie. 

We must not say to the masses "introduce Socialism," but carry 
out [?]... Capitalism has advanced; military capitalism during 
the war period is not the same as it was before the war. 

Having drawn tactical conclusions, one must turn to practical 
measures. It is necessary to call a party convention immediately, 
it is necessary to revise the programme. Much in it is antiquated. 
It is necessary to change the minimum programme. 

In my own name I propose that the name of the party be 
changed, that it be called the Communist Party. The name "Com- 
munist" will be understood by the people. The majority of the 
official Social-Democrats have betrayed Socialism . . . Liebknecht 
is the only Social-Democrat. . . . You fear to break faith with 
old memories. But in order to change one's linen, one must take 

* A state the model for which was given by the Paris Commune. 

* * Instead of "Social-Democracy," whose official leaders throughout the 
world have betrayed Socialism, by going over to the bourgeoisie (defencists and 
vacillating Kautskians) , we must call ourselves the Communist Party. 

*** The "centre" in the international Social-Democracy is the tendency 
vacillating between chauvinists ("defencists") and internationalists, i. e. 9 
Kautsky and Co. in Germany, Longuet and Co. in France, Chkheidze and Co. 
in Russia, Turati and Co. in Italy, MacDonald and Co. in England, etc. 



SPEECH AT CAUCUS OF BOLSHEVIKS 103 

off the soiled and put on clean. Why reject the experience gained 
in the world struggle? The majority of the Social-Democrats all 
over the world have betrayed Socialism and have gone over to the 
side of their governments (Plekhanov, Scheidemann, Guesde). 
What must we do to make Scheidemann agree? . . . This point 
of view is destructive to Socialism. To send a radio message to 
Scheidemann demanding the cessation of war is a delusion. 

The name Social-Democrat is inaccurate. Do not stick to an 
old name that has decayed through and through. Have the will 
to build a new party . . . and all those who are oppressed will 
join you. 

In Zimmerwald and Kienthal the centre was transformed. . . . 
The Rabochaia Gazeta. 88 We shall prove to you that experience 
has shown. . . . We declare that we have formed a left wing and 
have broken with the centre. You either have in mind the Inter- 
national, and in that case must apply . . . or you . . . 

The left Zimmerwald movement exists in all countries of the 
world. The masses must realise that Socialism has been split 
throughout the world. The defencists are abandoning Socialism. 
Only Liebknecht. . . . The future is his. 

I hear that in Russia there is a movement towards unity, unity 
with the defencists. This is a betrayal of Socialism. I think that 
it is better to stand alone, like Liebknecht: one against one hundred 
and ten.* 

First published in Pravda, No. 255, November 7, 1924. 

* Reference is made to Liebknecht's vote against the war budget in spite of 
the 110 other Socialist Deputies in the Reichstag voting for it. Ed. 



TWO WORLDS 

CAPITALIST newspapers like the Riech and the Novoie Vremia** 
have published articles attacking our passage through Germany and 
vaguely insinuating that the newly arrived are aiding the German 
imperialists.* 

The Izvestia of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies 
reprints in full the report published in yesterday's Pravda and pre- 
sented on the very first day before the Executive Committee of the 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. In addition to the 
report,** the Izvestia publishes the decision of the Executive Com- 
mittee. The decision is published in the Izvestia by the editors as 
follows: 

Having heard the report of Comrades Zurabov and Zinoviev, the Execu- 
tive Committee decided to apply immediately to the Provisional Government 
and to take measures looking toward the immediate admission into Russia of 
all emigrants, irrespective of their political views and their attitude toward 
the war. The results of the negotiations with the government will be pub- 
lished in the near future. Editors. 

Here you have a small a very small, but very characteristic 
picture of two worlds. On the one hand, the world of the capitalists, 
the Riech, the Russkaia Volia, 91 the Novoie Vremia, vile hints, con- 
temptible insinuations against the Socialists; on the other hand, the 
world of the revolutionary democracy, of the Workers' and Soldiers* 
Deputies, who in a quiet, consistent, and dignified manner have 
decided to "adopt measures." Measures leading to what? Meas- 
ures leading to what was not done by the Provisional Government! 

Is this not equivalent to a reprimand of the Provisional Gov- 
ernment? 

And is not this reprimand justified? 

Observe that the members of the Executive Committee passed 

* The famous rather notorious Russkaia Volia in its article against us 
offers "material 9 * fully in the spirit of the Riech. Won't Messrs. Miliukov 
and Co. be ashamed of such a neighbour? 

**Will the Riech dare to publish it? 

104 



TWO WORLDS 105 



their resolution, though they were fully aware that politically the 
Bolsheviks disagreed with them. For capitalists this would be a 
pretext for insinuation. Human dignity is something one need 
not look for in the world of capitalists. 

Pravda, No, 25, April 19, 1917. 



ON THE TASKS OF THE PROLETARIAT IN THE 
PRESENT REVOLUTION 

As I only arrived in Petrograd on the night of April 16, I could, 
of course, only on my own responsibility and admittedly without 
sufficient preparation render a report on April 17 on the problems 
of the revolutionary proletariat. 

The only thing I could do to facilitate matters for myself and 
for honest opponents was to prepare written theses. I read them, 
and gave the text to Comrade Tsereteli. I read them twice, very 
slowly: First at the meeting of the Bolsheviks, then at the joint 
meeting of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. 

I am publishing these personal theses, provided with very short 
explanatory notes, which were developed in more detail in the 
report: 

THESES 

1. In our attitude toward the war not the smallest concession 
must be made to "revolutionary defencism," for under the new 
government of Lvov and Co., owing to the capitalist nature of this 
government, the war on Russia's part remains a predatory im- 
perialist war. 

The class-conscious proletariat may give its consent to a revo- 
lutionary war, actually justifying revolutionary defencism, only 
on condition (a) that all power be transferred to the proletariat 
and its ally, the poorest section of the peasantry; (b) that all an- 
nexations be renounced in deeds, not merely in words; (c) that 
there be a complete break, in practice, with all interests of capital. 

In view of the undoubted honesty of the mass of rank and file 
representatives of revolutionary defencism who accept the war only 
as a necessity and not as a means of conquest, in view of their 
being deceived by the bouregoisie, it is necessary most thoroughly, 
persistently, patiently to explain to them their error, to explain the 
inseparable connection between capital and the imperialist war, to 
prove that without the overthrow of capital, it is impossible to 
conclude the war with a really democratic, non-oppressive peace. 

'l06 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN THE REVOLUTION 107 

This view is to be widely propagated among the army units in 
the field. 

Fraternisation . 

2. The peculiarity of the present situation in Russia is that it 
represents a transition from the first stage of the revolution, which, 
because of the inadequate organisation and insufficient class- 
consciousness of the proletariat, led to the assumption of power 
by the bourgeoisie to its second stage which is to place power in 
the hands of the proletariat and the poorest, strata of the peasantry. 

This transition is characterised, on the one hand, by a maximum 
of legality (Russia is now the freest of all the belligerent countries 
of the world) ; on the other, by the absence of oppression of the 
masses, and, finally, by the trustingly ignorant attitude of the 
masses toward the capitalist government, the worst enemy of peace 
and Socialism. 

This peculiar situation demands of us an ability to adapt our- 
selves to specific conditions of party work amidst vast masses of 
the proletariat just awakened to political life. 

3. No support to the Provisional Government; exposure of the 
utter falsity of all its promises, particularly those relating to the 
renunciation of annexations. Unmasking, instead of admitting, the 
illusion-breeding "demand" that this government, a government of 
capitalists, cease being imperialistic. 

4. Recognition of the fact that in most of the Soviets of Workers* 
Deputies our party constitutes a minority, and a small one at that, 
in the face of the bloc of all the petty-bourgeois opportunist ele- 
ments from the People's Socialists, the Socialists-Revolutionists down 
to the Organisation Committee (Chkheidze, Tsereteli, etc., Steklov, 
etc., etc.) who have yielded to the influence of the bourgeoisie and 
have been extending this influence to the proletariat as well. 

It must be explained to the masses that the Soviet of Workers* 
Deputies is the only possible form of revolutionary government 
and, therefore, our task is, while this government is submitting to 
the influence of the bourgeoisie, to present a patient, systematic, and 
persistent analysis of its errors and tactics, an analysis especially 
adapted to the practical needs of the masses. 

While we are in the minority, we carry on the work of criticism 
and of exposing errors, advocating all along the necessity of trans- 
ferring the entire power of state to the Soviets of Workers* Deputies, 



108 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

so that the masses might learn from experience how to rid them- 
selves of errors. 

5. Not a parliamentary republic a return to it from the Soviet 
of Workers* Deputies would be a step backward but a republic 
of Soviets of Workers', Agricultural Labourers' and Peasants* 
Deputies, throughout the land, from top to bottom. 

Abolition of the police, the army, the bureaucracy.* 
All officers to be elected and to be subject to recall at any time, 
their salaries not to exceed the average wage of a competent worker. 

6. In the agrarian programme, the emphasis must be shifted to 
the Soviets of Agricultural Labourers* Deputies. 

Confiscation of all private lands. 

Nationalisation of all lands in the country, and management of 
such lands by local Soviets of Agricultural Labourers* and Peas- 
ants* Deputies. A separate organisation of Soviets of Deputies of 
the poorest peasants. Creation of model agricultural establish- 
ments out of large estates (from 100 to 300 desiatinas, in accordance 
with local and other conditions and with the estimates of local 
institutions) under the control of the Soviet of Agricultural La- 
bourers' Deputies, and at public expense. 

7. Immediate merger of all the banks in the country into one 
general national bank, over which the Soviet of Workers' Deputies 
should have control. 

8. Not the "introduction" of Socialism as an immediate task, but 
the immediate placing of the Soviet of Workers* Deputies in control 
of social production and distribution of goods. 

9. Party tasks: 

A. Immediate calling of a party convention. 

B. Changing the party programme, mainly: 

(1) Concerning imperialism and the imperialist war. 

(2) Concerning our attitude toward the state and our demand 
for a "commune state." * * 

(3) Amending our antiquated minimum programme. 

C. Changing the name of the party. * * * 

10. Rebuilding the International. 



* Substituting for the standing army the universal arming of the people. 

** A state the model for which was given by the Paris Commune. 

*** Instead of "Social-Democracy,** whose official leaders throughout the 
world have betrayed Socialism by going over to the bourgeoisie (defencists 
and vacillating Kautskians), we must call ourselves the Communist Party. 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN THE REVOLUTION 109 

Taking the initiative in the creation of a revolutionary Inter- 
national, an International against the social-chauvinists and against 
the "centre." * 

In order that the reader may understand why I was compelled 
especially to emphasise, as a rare exception, the "case" of a con- 
scientious opponent, I would ask him to compare the above theses 
with the following objection of Mr. Goldenberg: Lenin, he said, "has 
planted the banner of civil war in the midst of revolutionary 
democracy" (quoted in Mr. Plekhanov's Tfedinstvo* 2 No. 5). 

Is this not a gem? 

I write, read, and ruminate: 

"In view of the undoubted honesty of the mass of rank and file 
representatives of 'revolutionary defencism' who accept the war 
only as a necessity and not as a means of conquest, in view of 
their being deceived by the bourgeoisie, it is necessary most 
thoroughly, persistently, patiently to explain to them their error. 9 * 

The gentlemen of the bourgeoisie, however, who call themselves 
Social-Democrats, who belong neither to the masses nor to the 
rank and file representatives of defencism, have the insolence to 
present my views in such words: "Has planted (!) the banner (!) 
of civil war (of which there is not a word in the theses nor in my 
speech) in the midst ( ! ! ) of revolutionary democracy. . . ." 

What is it? How does this differ from pogrom propaganda? 
From the Russkaia Volia? 

I write, read, and ruminate: 

"The Soviet of Workers' Deputies is the only possible form of 
revolutionary government, and therefore, our task is ... to present 
a patient, systematic, and persistent analysis of its errors and 
tactics, an analysis especially adapted to the practical needs of the 
masses." 

But opponents of a certain calibre present my views as a call to 
"civil war in the midst of revolutionary democracy"!! 

I attacked the Provisional Government because it has not fixed 
a date for convoking the Constituent Assembly either in the near 
future or at any time at all, confining itself to vague promises. I 
proved that without the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, 

*The "centre" in the international Social-Democracy is the tendency 
vacillating between chauvinists ("defencists") and internationalists, z. e^ 
Kautsky and Co. in Germany, Longuet and Co. in France, Chkheidze and Co. 
in Russia, Turati and Co. in Italy, MacDonald and Co. in England, etc. 



110 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

the convocation of the Constituent Assembly is not guaranteed and 
its success impossible. 

A view is attributed to me that I am opposed to the speediest 
convocation of the Constituent Assembly ! ! ! 

I would call these expressions "delirious," had not dozens of 
years of political fighting taught me to regard honesty in op- 
ponents as a rare exception. 

In his paper Mr. Plekhanov called my speech "delirious," Very 
good, Mr. Plekhanov! But how awkward, uncouth, and slow-witted 
you are in your polemics! If I talked delirious stuff for two whole 
hours, why did an audience of hundreds tolerate this "delirium"? 
Further, why does your paper devote a whole column to reproduc- 
ing this "delirium"? You have indeed made a bad shot in this 
matter ! 

It is, of course, much easier to shout, to scold, to rave than to 
make an attempt to relate, to explain, to recall how Marx and 
Engels in 1871, 1872, and 1875 viewed the experience of the Paris 
Commune and the kind of state the proletariat needs. 

The former Marxist, Mr. Plekhanov, probably does not wish to 
think about Marxism. 

I quoted the words of Rosa Luxemburg who, on August 4, 1914, 93 
called the German Social-Democracy a "stinking corpse." Messrs. 
Plekhanov, Goldenberg and Co., however, feel "offended" ... for 
whom? for the German chauvinists who have been called chau- 
vinists ! 

They have lost their way, these poor Russian social-chauvinists, 
Socialists in words and chauvinists in deeds. 

N. LENIN. 

Pravda, No. 26, April 20, 1917. 



IN LOUIS BLANC'S FOOTSTEPS 

THE French Socialist, Louis Blanc, gained deplorable fame in the 
revolution of 1848, by changing from the position of the class 
struggle to the position of petty-bourgeois illusions, adorned with 
would-be "Socialist" phraseology, but in reality tending to 
strengthen the influence of the bourgeoisie over the proletariat. 
Louis Blanc expected to receive aid from the bourgeoisie; he hoped, 
and aroused hopes in others, that the bourgeoisie could aid the 
workers in the matter of "organisation of labour" this vague term 
having been supposed to express a "Socialist" tendency. 

The policy of Louis Blanc has now gained the upper hand in 
the right wing "Social-Democracy," in die party of the O. C. in 
Russia. Chkheidze, Tsereteli, Steklov, and many others, who are 
now leaders of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies they also were the leaders of the recently held Ail- 
Russian Conference of Soviets 94 have assumed precisely the posi- 
tion of Louis Blanc. 

In all major questions of the political life of our day, these 
leaders, who occupy approximately the position of the international 
centrist tendency represented by Kautsky, Longuet, Turati, and 
many others, have embraced the petty-bourgeois views of Louis 
Blanc. Take, for instance, the war question. 

The proletarian standpoint in this matter consists of a definite 
class characterisation of the war, and of an irreconcilable hostility 
to the imperialist war that is, to a war waged between groups of 
capitalist countries (no matter whether monarchies or republics) 
for a division of capitalist spoils. 

The petty-bourgeois viewpoint differs from the bourgeois one (out- 
right justification of the war, outright "national defence," i.e., a 
defence of the "interests" of the home capitalists, defence of their 
"right" to annexations) in that the petty bourgeois renounces an- 
nexations, "condemns" imperialism, "demands" from the bourgeoisie 
to cease being imperialistic while remaining within the framework 
of world-imperialist relations and the capitalist structure of society. 
Limiting himself to this innocuous, shallow, empty declamation, the 

111 



112 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

petty-bourgeois, in practice, trails helplessly behind the bourgeoisie, 
"sympathising" somewhat with the proletariat in words, remaining 
completely dependent on the bourgeoisie in fact, unable or perhaps 
unwilling to understand the revolutionary path that leads to the 
throwing off of the capitalist yoke, the only path that can save 
humanity from imperialism. 

To "demand" from the bourgeois governments that they make 
a "solemn declaration" in the spirit of renouncing annexations 
this seems to the petty-bourgeois to be the height of audacity as 
well as an example of anti-imperialist "Zimmerwaldian" con- 
^istency. It is not difficult to see that this is the policy of Louis 
Blanc at its worst. First of all, the competent bourgeois politician 
never has any difficulty in making any number of "splendid," im- 
pressive, and sonorous phrases against annexations "in general," 
while saying nothing and binding himself to nothing. When it 
comes to action, however, it is always possible to use a trick the 
way the bourgeois Riech did when it had the sad courage to de- 
clare that Courland (now annexed by the imperialist robbers of 
bourgeois Germany) was not annexed by Russia! 

This is the most revolting trickery, the most shameless deception 
of the workers by the bourgeoisie, for any man who has even the 
most rudimentary political education must recognise that Courland 
has always been annexed to Russia. 

"We challenge the Riech directly and openly: (1) To present to 
the people such a political definition of the concept "annexation" 
that would be equally applicable to all annexations in the world, 
German, English, Russian, past and present, all without exception; 
(2) to state clearly and definitely what, in its opinion, is meant 
by renunciation of annexations, not in words, but in deeds. Let 
it give such a political definition of the concept "renunciation 
of annexations in deed" as will apply not only to the Germans, but 
also to the English and the other peoples that have ever perpetrated 
annexations. 

We maintain that the Riech will either decline to accept our chal- 
lenge or it will be exposed by us before the whole people. And 
it is precisely because of this question of Courland touched upon by 
the Riech that our disagreement is not theoretical but practical, 
most urgent, most fundamental, most timely. 

Second, let us assume, if only for a moment, that the bourgeois 



IN LOUIS BLANC'S FOOTSTEPS 113 

Ministers are models of honesty, that the Guchkovs, Lvovs, Miliu- 
kovs and Co. sincerely believe in the possibility of renouncing an- 
nexations, while preserving capitalism, and that they really want 
to renounce the*n 

Let us, for a moment, assume even this, let us make this Louis 
Blanc admission. 

The question is: Can a grown-up person be content with what 
people think of themselves, without comparing it with what they 
do? Is it possible for a Marxist not to distinguish between good 
wishes and declarations, on the one hand, and objective reality, on 
the other? 

No. It is not. 

Annexations are maintained by the bonds of finance capital, 
banking capital, imperialist capital. Herein is the modern, the 
economic foundation of annexations. From this angle, annexa- 
tions are politically guaranteed profits on billions of capital "in- 
vested" in thousands upon thousands of enterprises in the annexed 
countries. 

It is impossible, even if one wishes to do so, to renounce an- 
nexations without taking decisive steps toward throwing off the yoke 
of capitalism. 

Does that mean, as the Yedinstvo, the Rabochaia Gazeta, and 
the other "Louis Blancs" of our petty-bourgeoisie are ready to con- 
clude and actually conclude, that we must not take any decisive 
steps toward overthrowing capital, that we must accept at least a 
modicum of annexations? 

No. One must take decisive steps towards the overthrow of 
capital. One must take them efficiently and gradually, basing one- 
self solely on the class-consciousness and organised activity of the 
overwhelming majority of the workers and poorest peasants. But 
take them one must. The Soviets of Workers' Deputies in a number 
of Russian localities have already started to take them. 

The order of the day now is a decisive and irrevocable parting 
of the ways with the Louis Blancs Chkheidzes, Tseretelis, Steklovs, 
the party of the 0. C, the Socialists-Revolutionists, etc., etc. One 
must explain to the masses that the policy of Louis Blanc destroys 
and will destroy the further success of the revolution, even the 
success of freedom, unless the masses understand the danger of 
those petty-bourgeois illusions and join the class-conscious workers 



114 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

in their cautious, gradual, well-planned, yet firm and direct steps 
toward Socialism. 

Outside of Socialism there is no deliverance of humanity from 
wars, from hunger, from the destruction of millions and millions of 
human beings. 

N. LENIN. 

Pravda, No. 27, April 21, 1917. 



ON DUAL POWER 

THE basic question in any revolution is that of state power. 
Unless this is understood, there can be no intelligent participation 
in the revolution, let alone direction of it. 

What has made our revolution so strikingly unique, is that it has 
established dual power. This fact must be grasped first. Unless 
it be understood, there can be no further advance. We ought to be 
able, for example, to amend and supplement our old Bolshevik 
"formulae." They have proved sound in general, but their con- 
crete realisation was quite another thing. Nobody did or could 
think of dual power before. 

What constitutes dual power? The fact that by the side of the 
Provisional Government, the government of the bourgeoisie, there 
has developed another., as yet weak, embryonic, but undoubtedly 
real and growing government the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers* 
Deputies. 

What is the class composition of that other government? The 
proletariat and the peasantry (clad in army uniforms) . What is 
the political nature of that government? It is a revolutionary 
dictatorship, i. e., it is a power based not on laws made by a cen- 
tralised state power, but on outright revolutionary seizure, on the 
direct initiative of the masses from below. It is a power quite 
different from that of the ordinary type of parliamentary bourgeois- 
democratic republic that is still prevalent in the advanced countries 
of Europe and America. This circumstance is often forgotten, often 
ignored, yet it is a basic circumstance. This power is of the type 
of the Paris Commune of 1871. The fundamental characteristics 
of this kind of power are: (1) Its origin is not in a law previously 
considered and passed by Parliament, but in the direct initiative 
of the masses from below, everywhere; in outright "seizure,'* to use 
a popular expression; (2) instead of the police and the army, insti- 
tutions separated from the people and opposed to the people, there 
is the direct arming of the whole people; orderly government is 
thus insured by the armed workers and peasants themselves, by the 
armed people itself; (3) officials, bureaucrats are also either dis- 
placed by the direct rule of the people, or at any rate, placed under 
special control; they not only become officers elected by the people, 

115 



116 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

but they also become subject to recall at the initiative of the people; 
they are reduced to the position of plain representatives; from a 
privileged social stratum, occupying snug, highly remunerative 
"berths," they change into workers skilled in handling certain 
"tools," receiving salaries not exceeding those of average skilled 
workers. 

It is this and only this that makes the Paris Commune a special 
type of state. This truth has been forgotten and perverted by the 
Plekhanovs (out-and-out chauvinists, betrayers of Marxism), the 
Kautskys (those of the "centre," i.e., those who vacillate between 
chauvinism and Marxism) and all those Social-Democrats, Social- 
Revolutionists, etc., etc., who are now in control. 

All those people confine themselves to pretty phrases, evasions, 
tricks; they congratulate each other a thousand times upon the 
revolution, but they refuse to consider the meaning of the Soviets 
of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies. They refuse to see the obvious 
truth that in so far as the Soviets exist, in so far as they are a 
power, so far does Russia have a state of the type of the Paris 
Commune. 

I have underscored "in so far as." For the Soviet power is only 
at its inception. By direct agreements with the bourgeois Provi- 
sional Government and by a series of actual concessions to the latter, 
the Soviet power has surrendered and is surrendering its position 
to the bourgeoisie. 

Why? Is it because Chkheidze, Tsereteli, Steklov and Co. are 
making a "mistake"? Nonsense. Only a philistine can think so, 
not a Marxist. The reason is in the lack of organisation and class 
consciousness among the workers and peasants. The "mistake" of 
the above-mentioned leaders is, simply, their petty-bourgeois posi- 
tion, is the fact that instead of clarifying the minds of the workers, 
they becloud them; instead of refusing petty-bourgeois illusions, 
they instill them; instead of freeing the masses from petty-bourgeois 
influences, they strengthen them. 

Hence it should be also clear why so many mistakes are made 
by our comrades when they ask a "simple" question as to whether 
or not the Provisional Government should be overthrown. 

My answer is (1) that it should be overthrown, for it is an oli- 
garchical, bourgeois, and not a people's government, and it can 
give neither peace, nor bread, nor complete freedom; '(2) that it 
cannot be overthrown now, for it is held by a direct and indirect, 



ON DUAL POWER 117 



by a formal and factual agreement with the Soviets of Workers' 
Deputies, particularly with the most important of them, the Petro- 
grad Soviet; (3) that, generally speaking, it cannot be "overthrown" 
by any ordinary method, for it rests on the "support" given to the 
bourgeoisie by the second government, the Soviet of Workers' 
Deputies, which is the only possible revolutionary government di- 
rectly expressing the mind and the will of the majority of workers 
and peasants. Humanity has not yet evolved, and we do not as 
yet know, a type of government superior to and better than the 
Soviets of Workers', Agricultural Workers', Peasants', and Soldiers' 
Deputies. 

To become a power, the class-conscious workers must win the 
majority over to their side. So long as no violence is committed 
against the masses, there is no other road to power. We are not 
Blanquists, we are not for the seizure of power by a minority. We 
are Marxists, and we stand for a proletarian class-struggle against 
petty-bourgeois poison, against chauvinism-defencism, against empty 
phrases, against dependence on the bourgeoisie. 

Let us create a proletarian Communist party; its elements have 
already been created by the best adherents of Bolshevism; let us 
close our ranks and carry on proletarian class work; then from 
among the proletarians, from among the poorer peasants ever greater 
numbers will come to our side. For day by day life will shatter 
the petty-bourgeois illusions of the "Social-Democrats" Chkheidze, 
Tsereteli, Steklov, etc., of the "Socialists-Revolutionists," of the 
petty-bourgeois of still "purer" water, etc., etc. 

The bourgeoisie stands for the exclusive power of the bourgeoisie. 

The class-conscious workers stand for the exclusive power of the 
Soviets of Workers', Agricultural Workers', Peasants', and Soldiers' 
Deputies; they stand for a single power, made possible not by 
dubious adventures, but by the crystallisation of proletarian class- 
consciousness, by the emancipation of the proletariat from bour- 
geois influence. 

The petty bourgeoisie "Social-Democrats," "Socialists-Revolu- 
tionists," etc., etc. is vacillating, and thus hindering such crystal- 
lisation and emancipation. 

This is the actual correlation of class forces determining our 
tasks. 

N. LENIN. 

Pravda, No. 28, April 22, 1917. 



LETTERS ON TACTICS 

FOREWORD 

ON April 17, 1917, I was called upon to report on the subject 
indicated in the title, first, at a meeting of Bolsheviks in Petrograd. 
These were delegates to the All-Russian Conference of Workers' and 
Soldiers* Soviets, who had to leave for their homes and could not 
allow me to postpone it. At the close of the meeting, the chairman, 
Comrade G. Zinoviev, suggested in the name of the whole assembly 
that I repeat my report at the joint meeting of Bolshevik and 
Menshevik delegates, who wished to consider the question of unify- 
ing the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. 

Difficult though it was for me immediately to repeat my report, 
I felt that I had no right to decline once it was demanded by 
comrades of my persuasion as well as by the Mensheviks, who, 
because of their impending departure, really could not grant me a 
respite. 

In giving my report, I read the theses which were published in 
No. 26 of the Pravda, on April 20.* 

Both the theses and my report created discord among the Bol- 
sheviks themselves and the staff of the Pravda. After a number of 
consultations, we unanimously concluded that it would be expedient 
openly to discuss our differences, thus providing material for the 
All-Russian Conference of our party (the Russian Social-Demo- 
cratic Labour Party, united under the Central Committee) which is 
to meet in Petrograd on May 3. 

Complying with this decision concerning a discussion, I am pub- 
lishing the following letters in which I do not pretend to have made 
an exhaustive study of the question, but wish only to outline the 
principal arguments, especially those essential for the practical tasks 
of the working-class movement. 

FIRST LETTER 

AN ESTIMATE OF THE PRESENT SITUATION 

Marxism demands of us a most exact, an objectively verifiable 
analysis of the interrelations of classes and of the concrete pe- 

* See pp. 106-108 of this book. Ed. 

118 



LETTERS ON TACTICS 119 

culiarities of each historic moment. We Bolsheviks have always 
tried to be true to this demand, which is absolutely imperative 
from the standpoint of giving a scientific foundation to politics. 

"Our doctrine is not a dogma, but a guide to action," said Marx 
and Engels, who always scorned the mere acquisition and repetition 
of "formulae," capable at best only of outlining general tasks, which 
are necessarily changed by the concrete economic and political cir- 
cumstances of each particular period in the historical process. 

What, then, are the clearly established objective facts by which 
the party of the revolutionary proletariat must be guided now in 
defining the tasks and forms of its activity? 

In my first "Letter from Afar" ("The First Stage of the First 
Revolution") which was published in Nos. 14 and 15 of the 
Pravda, April 3 and 4, 1917,* and in my theses, I define the 
"peculiarity of the present moment" in Russia as a period of tran- 
sition from the first stage of the revolution to the second. I there- 
fore considered the basic slogan, the "order of the day" at that 
time to be: "Workers, you have displayed marvels of proletarian 
and popular heroism in the civil war against tsarism; you must 
display marvels of proletarian and nation-wide organisation in 
order to prepare your victory in the second stage of the revolution" 
(Pravda, No. 15). 

What, then, is the first stage? 

It is the passing of state power to the bourgeoisie. 

Before the March revolution of 1917, state power in Russia 
was in the hands of one old class, namely, the feudal noble landlord 
class, headed by Nicholas Romanov. 

After that revolution, state power is in the hands of another class, 
a new one, namely, the bourgeoisie. 

The passing of state power from one class to another is the first, 
die main, the basic principle of a revolution, both in the strictly 
scientific and in the practical political meaning of that term. 

To that extent, the bourgeois, or the bourgeois-democratic, revo- 
lution in Russia is completed. 

But at this point we hear the noise of objectors, who readily 
call themselves "old Bolsheviks": Haven't we always maintained, 
they say, that a bourgeois-democratic revolution is culminated only 
in a "revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and the peas- 
antry"? Is the agrarian revolution, which is a phase of the bour- 

* See p. 34 of this book. Ed. 



120 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

geois-democratic revolution, completed? On the contrary, is it not 
a fact that it has not yet begun? 

My answer is: The Bolshevik slogans and ideas have been gen- 
erally confirmed by history; but as to the concrete situation, things 
have turned out to be different, more original, more unique, more 
multicoloured than could have been anticipated by any one. 

To ignore, to forget, this fact would mean to resemble those "old 
Bolsheviks" who more than once have played a sorry part in the 
history of our party when they repeated a formula, once acquired, 
without thinking, instead of studying the peculiarities of new living 
reality. 

"The revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and 
the peasantry" has already become a reality * in the Russian Revolu- 
tion, for this "formula" foresees only the interrelation of classes, but 
it does not foresee the concrete political institutions which realise 
this interrelation, this co-operation. "The Soviet of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies" here you have "revolutionary-democratic dicta- 
torship of the proletariat and peasantry" already realised in life. 

This formula has become antiquated. Life brought it out of the 
realm of formula? into the realm of reality, clothed it with flesh 
and blood, concretised it and thus changed it. 

There is a new, a different task before us now: the split within 
this dictatorship between the proletarian elements (the anti-de- 
fencist, internationalist, "communist" elements who stand for the 
transition to the commune) and the petty-proprietor or petty- 
bourgeois elements (Chkheidze, Tsereteli, Steklov, the Socialists- 
Revolutionists and other revolutionary defencists, opponents of the 
movement toward the commune, adherents of "supporting" the 
bourgeoisie and the bourgeois government) . 

He who now speaks of "revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of 
the proletariat and peasantry" only, is behind the times, is therefore 
in practice on the side of the petty bourgeoisie and against the 
proletarian class struggle; such a one should be placed in the 
archive of "Bolshevik" pre-revolutionary antiques (it may be called 
the archive of "old Bolsheviks"). 

Revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peas- 
antry has already been realised, but in a very original way, with a 
number of extremely important modifications. I will deal with 
them separately, in one of the forthcoming letters. Now, however, 

* In a certain form and to a certain extent. 



LETTERS ON TACTICS 121 

it is necessary to acquire that incontestable truth that a Marxist 
must take cognisance of living life, of the true facts of reality, 
that he must not continue clinging to the theory of yesterday, which, 
like every theory, at best only outlines the main and the general, 
only approximately embracing the complexity of life. 

"Theory, my friend, is grey, but green is the eternal tree of life." 

Whoever questions the "completeness" of the bourgeois revolution 
from the old viewpoint, sacrifices living Marxism to a dead letter. 

According to the old conception, the rule of the proletariat and 
peasantry, their dictatorship, can and must follow the rule of the 
bourgeoisie. 

In real life, however, things have already turned out otherwise; 
an extremely original, new, unprecedented interlocking of one and 
the other has taken place. Side by side, together and simulta- 
neously, we have both the rule of the bourgeoisie (the government 
of Lvov and Guchkov) and the revolutionary-democratic dictator- 
ship of the proletariat and the peasantry, which voluntarily cedes 
power to the bourgeoisie and voluntarily makes itself an appendage 
of the bourgeoisie. 

For it must not be forgotten that in Petrograd the power is actually 
in the hands of the workers and soldiers; the new government 
does not use violence against them, and cannot do so, because there 
is no police, there is no army separated from the people, there is 
no all-powerful officialdom placed above the people. This is a 
fact. It is the kind of fact that characterises a state of the type 
of the Paris Commune. This fact does not fit into the old frame- 
work of thought. One ought to be able to adapt the framework to 
life, rather than repeat the now senseless words about "dictatorship 
of the proletariat and the peasantry" in general. 

Let us approach the question from another angle, in order to 
throw more light on it. 

A Marxist must not leave the firm ground of the analysis of 
class relations. Power is in the hands of the bourgeoisie. But how 
about the mass of the peasants? Does it not also form a bourgeoisie, 
only of a different social stratum, of a different kind, of a different 
character? Wherefrom does it follow that this stratum cannot 
come into power, thus "completing" the bourgeois-democratic revo- 
lution? Why should this be impossible? 

This is how the old Bolsheviks often argue. 

My reply is that it is fully possible. But, in analysing a given 



122 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

situation, a Marxist must proceed not from the possible, but from 
the real. 

Reality, however, shows us that the freely elected Soldiers' and 
Peasants' Deputies freely enter the second, the parallel government, 
freely supplementing, developing and completing it. And just as 
freely do they give away their power to the bourgeoisie, which 
phenomenon does not in the least "undermine" the theory of 
Marxism, for we have always known and have repeatedly pointed 
out that the bourgeoisie maintains itself not only by force but also 
by the lack of class-consciousness, the clinging to old habits, the 
timidity, the lack of organisation on the part of the masses. 

Now, in the face of this reality of to-day, it would be simply 
ridiculous to turn away from the fact and to speak of "possibilities." 
It is possible that the peasantry might seize all the land and all 
the power. Not only do I not forget this possibility, not only do I 
not confine myself to the present, but I definitely and clearly formu- 
late the agrarian programme considering the new phenomenon, i. e. 9 
the deep chasm between the agricultural labourers and the poorest 
peasants on the one hand and the peasant landowners on the other 
hand. 

Something else is possible, however; it is possible that the peas- 
ants will listen to the advice of the petty-bourgeois party of the 
Socialists-Revolutionists that has yielded to the influence of the 
bourgeoisie, that has gone over to defencism and that advises wait- 
ing for the Constituent Assembly, although not even the date of 
its convocation has so far been set.* 

It is possible that the peasants will adhere to and prolong 
their pact with the bourgeoisie, which they have concluded now 
through the medium of the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies, not only in form, but in deed. 

Many things are possible. It would be the greatest mistake were 
we to forget the agrarian movement and the agrarian programme. 
But it would be equally wrong to forget the reality which shows us 
the fact of an agreement or, to use a more exact, less legal, and 

*Lest my words be misinterpreted, I will anticipate at once: I am abso- 
lutely in favour of tbe Soviets of Agricultural Labourers and Peasants im- 
mediately taking possession of all the land, on condition that they them- 
selves should preserve the strictest order and discipline, not permitting the 
least injury to machines, buildings, and live stock, in no way disorganising 
agriculture and the production of bread stuffs, but increasing them, for the 
soldiers need twice as much bread, and the people must not starve. 



LETTERS ON TACTICS 123 

more economic, class expression the fact of class collaboration 
between the bourgeoisie and the peasantry. 

When this fact ceases to be a fact, when the peasantry has sepa- 
rated itself from the bourgeoisie, when it has seized the land and 
power against the bourgeoisie then there will be a new stage of 
the bourgeois-democratic revolution; and of that it will be necessary 
to speak separately. 

A Marxist who, in view of the possibility of such a future stage, 
were to forget his duty at the present time when the peasantry is 
in agreement with the bourgeoisie, would turn petty-bourgeois. For 
he would in practice be preaching to the proletariat confidence in the 
petty bourgeoisie ("this petty bourgeoisie, this peasantry, must sepa- 
rate itself from the bourgeoisie within the scope of the bourgeois- 
democratic revolution"). This would mean that for the sake of 
the "possibility" of a pleasant and sweet future, in which the 
peasantry would not form the tail of the bourgeoisie, in which the 
Socialists-Revolutionists, Chkheidze, Tsereteli and Steklov would not 
be an appendage of the bourgeois government, that for the sake of 
the "possibility" of a pleasant future he would forget the unpleasant 
present in which the peasantry forms for the time being the tail 
of the bourgeoisie, in which the Socialists-Revolutionists and the So- 
cial-Democrats do not, for the time being, give up the role of an 
appendage of the bourgeois government, of the opposition of "His 
Majesty" * 5 Lvov. 

This hypothetical person would resemble a saccharine Louis 
Blanc, a sugary Kautskian, but in no way a revolutionary Marxist. 

But are we not in danger of falling into subjectivism, of wanting 
to "skip" the bourgeois-democratic revolution which has not yet 
been completed and has not gone through the peasant movement 
and thus to arrive at the Socialist revolution? 

This danger might threaten me, were I to say: "No Tsar, but a 
workers' government." 9S But I have not said this, I have said 
something else. I have said that there can be no other government 
(barring a bourgeois one) in Russia except that of the Soviets of 
Workers', Agricultural Labourers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies. 
I have said that, at present, power in Russia can pass from the 
Guchkovs and Lvovs only to these Soviets, in which it so happens 
that the majority are peasants, the majority are soldiers, the majority 
are petty-bourgeois, using a scientific Marxian term, using not an 
everyday, philistine, professional, but a class characterisation. 



124 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

In my theses, I have absolutely insured myself against any skip- 
ping of the peasant and other petty-bourgeois movements which 
are still in existence, against any playing with the "conquest of 
power" by a workers' government, against any kind of Blanquist 
adventure, for I directly referred to the experiences of the Paris 
Commune. This experience, as is well known, and as was pointed 
out by Marx in 1871 and Engels in 1891, absolutely excluded Blan- 
quism, absolutely secured direct, immediate and absolute rule of 
the majority and the activity of the masses only to the extent of 
the conscious action of the majority. 

In the theses, I most definitely reduced the question to a struggle 
for influence within the Soviets of Workers', Agricultural Labourers', 
Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies. In order to leave no trace of a 
doubt in this respect, I twice emphasised in the theses the necessity 
of patient, persistent work of "explaining," adapted to "the practical 
needs of the masses." 

Ignorant persons or renegades from Marxism, such as Mr. Ple- 
khanov and his ilk, may clamour about Anarchism, Blanquism, etc. 
Any one who wants to think and learn cannot fail to understand 
that Blanquism is seizure of power by a minority, whereas the 
Soviets of Workers' Deputies are admittedly the direct and immedi- 
ate organisation of the majority of the people. Work reduced to a 
struggle for influence within such Soviets, cannot, really cannot, drift 
into the swamp of Blanquism. It cannot drift into the swamp of 
Anarchism either, for Anarchism is a denial of the necessity of the 
state and state power for the epoch of transition from the rule of the 
bourgeoisie to the rule of the proletariat. Whereas I advocate, 
with a clearness that excludes any misunderstanding, the necessity 
of the state for this epoch, but, in accordance with Marx and with 
the experience of the Paris Commune, I advocate not the usual 
parliamentary bourgeois state, but a state without a standing army, 
without a police placed in opposition to the people, without an 
officialdom placed above the people. 

When Mr. Plekhanov, in his newspaper Yedinstvo, inveighs with 
all his might against Anarchism, he only gives further evidence of 
his breach with Marxism. In reply to my challenge in the Pravda 
(No. 26) that he relate what Marx and Engels taught about the 
state in the years 1871, 1872, 1875, Plekhanov can only answer 
with silence regarding the substance of the question and with a 
storm of abuse in the spirit of the embittered bourgeoisie. 



LETTERS ON TACTICS 125 

Mr. Plekhanov, the ex-Marxist, has absolutely failed to under- 
stand the doctrine of Marxism about the state. Indeed, germs of 
this lack of 'understanding are also to be found in his German 
brochure on Anarchism. 97 

Let us now see how Comrade L. Kamer\ev formulates his "dis- 
agreements" with my theses and with the above-expressed views in 
his short article in No. 27 of the Pravda. This will help us to clarify 
them with more exactness. 

"As regards Comrade Lenin's general line," writes Comrade 
Kamenev, "it appears to us unacceptable, inasmuch as it proceeds 
from the assumption that the bourgeois-democratic revolution has 
been completed, and it builds on the immediate transformation of 
this revolution into a Socialist revolution." 9S 

There are two major errors in this. 

1. The question of a "completed" bourgeois-democratic revolution 
is stated wrongly. The question is put in an abstract, simple, if we 
may say so, monochromatic way, which does not correspond to the 
objective reality. Any one who puts the question in this way, who 
now asks whether the bourgeois-democratic revolution has been 
completed, and nothing further, deprives himself of the possibility 
of seeing the extraordinarily complicated actuality which has at least 
two colours. This in theory. In practice, he capitulates feebly 
to petty-bourgeois revolutionism. 

As a matter of fact, reality shows us both the passing of the power 
into the hands of the bourgeoisie (a "completed" bourgeois-demo- 
cratic revolution of the ordinary type) and, by the side of the 
actual government, the existence of a parallel government which 
represents the "revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the prole- 
tariat and the peasantry." This latter "also government" has itself 
ceded power to the bourgeoisie, has voluntarily chained itself to the 
bourgeois government. 

Is this reality embraced in the old Bolshevik formula of Comrade 
Kamenev which says that "the bourgeois-democratic revolution is not 
completed"? 

No, the formula is antiquated. It does not apply. It is dead. 
Attempts to revive it will be in vain. 

2. A practical question. Who knows whether it is possible at 
present for a special "revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the 
proletariat and the peasantry," detached from the bourgeois govern- 



126 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

ment, to exist in Russia? Marxian tactics must not be based on the 
unknown. 

But if this is possible after all, then there is one, and only one 
way toward it, namely, a direct, resolute, irrevocable separation of 
the proletarian Communist elements from the petty-bourgeois ele- 
ments. 

Why? 

Because the whole petty bourgeoisie has, not by chance but of 
necessity, turned toward chauvinism (defencism) , towards "support- 
ing" the bourgeoisie, towards depending on it, towards the fear of 
not getting on without it, etc. 

How can the petty bourgeoisie be "pushed" into power, when this 
petty bourgeoisie could seize power now, but would not? 

Only by separating the proletarian, the Communist Party, through 
proletarian class struggle free from the timidity of those petty- 
bourgeois, only by consolidating the proletarians who are free from 
the influence of the petty bourgeoisie in deed and not only in word 
can one make things so "hot" for the petty bourgeoisie that, in 
certain circumstances, it will have to seize power; it is not even 
out of the question that Guchkov and Miliukov again in certain 
circumstances should stand for all power given solely to 
Chkheidze, Tsereteli, the Socialists-Revolutionists, Steklov, because 
after all they are all "def encists." 

Any one who, right now, immediately and irrevocably, separates 
the proletarian elements of the Soviets (i. e., the proletarian Com- 
munist Party) from the petty-bourgeois elements, provides a correct 
expression of the interests of the movement for either one of the 
two possible cases: for the case when Russia still goes through a 
special "dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry" inde- 
pendently of the bourgeoisie, and for the case when the petty 
bourgeoisie is not able to detach itself from the bourgeoisie and 
swings eternally (that is until Socialism is established) between us 
and it. 

Any one who is guided in his activities by the simple formula, 
"the bourgeois-democratic revolution is not completed," vouchsafes, 
as it were, the certainty of the petty bourgeoisie being independent 
of the bourgeoisie. In doing so, he at once helplessly surrenders to 
the petty bourgeoisie. 

Apropos: With regard to the "formula" of the dictatorship of 
the proletariat and the peasantry, I would recall that, in my article 



LETTERS ON TACTICS 127 

"Two Tactics" (July, 1905) I specially emphasised (Twelve Years, 
p. 435) : " 

The revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the 
peasantry has, like everything else in the world, a past and a future. Its 
past is absolutism, feudalism, monarchy, privileges. ... Its future the strug- 
gle against private property, the struggle of the wage-earners against the 
employers, the struggle for Socialism. ... * 

The mistake made by Comrade Kamenev is that in 1917 he only 
sees the past of the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the 
proletariat and the peasantry. In reality, however, its future has 
already begun, for the interests and the policy of the wage-earners 
and the petty proprietors have already taken different lines, and 
that in such an important question as "defencism," the attitude 
toward the imperialist war. 

This brings me to the second mistake in the remarks of Comrade 
Kamenev quoted above: He reproaches me, saying that my line 
"builds" on "the immediate transformation of this (bourgeois-demo- 
cratic) revolution into a Socialist revolution." 

This is not true. Not only do I not "build" on the "immediate 
transformation" of our revolution into a Socialist one, but I actually 
caution against it, when in Thesis No. 8, I state: "Not the 'intro- 
duction 1 of Socialism as an immediate task. . . ." 

Is it not clear that any one who builds on the immediate trans- 
formation of our revolution into a Socialist one could not oppose 
the immediate task of introducing Socialism? 

More than that. It is not even possible to introduce in Russia 
"immediately" a "commune state" (. e., a state organized according 
to the type of the Paris Commune), because for that it would be 
necessary that the majority of the Deputies in all (or in most) 
Soviets should clearly recognise the entire erroneousness and harm 
of the tactics and policy of the Socialists-Revolutionists, Chkheidze, 
Tsereteli, Steklov, etc. Whereas I declared in plain language that 
in this respect I only build on "patient" explaining (is it neces- 
sary to be patient to bring about a change which can be realised 
"immediately"?). 

Comrade Kamenev has made a rather "impatient" start; he has 

repeated the bourgeois prejudice against the Paris Commune, 

namely, that it wanted to introduce Socialism "immediately." This 

is not true. The Commune, unfortunately, hesitated too long over 

* See V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, VoL VILEd. 



128 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

the introduction of Socialism. The real essence of the Commune 
is not where the bourgeois usually look for it, but in the creation 
of a state of a special type. A state of this kind has already been 
born in Russia, it is the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies! 

Comrade Kamenev has not grasped the fact, the significance of 
the existing Soviets, their identity, as to their socio-political char- 
acter, with the Commune state; instead of studying the fact, he 
began to discuss what, in his opinion, I consider as the "immediate" 
future. The result is, unfortunately, a repetition of the method of 
many bourgeois : from the question as to what the Soviets of Workers' 
and Soldiers' Deputies are, whether they represent a higher type 
than a parliamentary republic, whether they are more useful for 
the people, more democratic, more adapted to the struggle, for in- 
stance, against the lack of bread, etc., from this urgent, real ques- 
tion raised by life itself, attention is diverted to the empty, allegedly 
scientific, in reality hollow, professionally lifeless question of "build- 
ing on an immediate transformation." 

An idle question put in the wrong way. I "build" only on this, 
exclusively on this that the workers, soldiers and peasants will deal 
better than the officials, better than the police, with the practical, 
difficult problems of increasing the production of foodstuffs, their 
better distribution, the more satisfactory provisioning of the soldiers, 
etc., etc. 

I am deeply convinced that the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies will make the independent activity of the people a reality 
more quickly and effectively than will a parliamentary republic (I 
will compare the two types of state in greater detail in another 
letter) . They will more effectively, more practically and more cor- 
rectly decide what steps can be taken toward Socialism and how 
these steps should be taken. Control over a bank, amalgamation of 
all banks into one, is not yet Socialism, but it is a step toward 
Socialism. To-day such steps are being taken in Germany by the 
Junkers and the bourgeoisie against the people. To-morrow the 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies will be able to take these 
steps more effectively to the advantage of the people when the whole 
state power will be in its hands. 

What compels the taking of such steps? 

Famine. Economic disorganisation. Imminent collapse. War 
horrors. Horrors of the wounds inflicted on mankind by the war. 

Comrade Kamenev concludes his article with the remark that "in 



LETTERS ON TACTICS 129 

a broad discussion he hopes to carry his point of view as the only 
possible one for revolutionary Social-Democracy in so far as it 
wishes to be and must remain to the very end the one and only party 
of the revolutionary masses of the proletariat without turning into 
a group of Communist propagandists." 

It seems to me that these words betray a completely erroneous, 
estimate of the situation. Comrade Kamenev contrasts a "party of 
the masses" with a "group of propagandists." Still, just now the 
"masses" have yielded to the frenzy of "revolutionary" defencism. 
Is it not more worthy of internationalists at this moment to be able 
to resist "mass" frenzy rather than to "wish to remain" with th& 
masses, i. e., to yield to the general epidemic? Have we not wit- 
nessed how in all the belligerent countries of Europe, the chauvinists 
justified themselves by their wish to "remain with the masses"? Is 
it not our duty to be able to remain for a while in the minority 
against a "mass" frenzy? Is not the work of the propagandists at 
the present moment the very central issue, since it tends to clear the 
proletarian line from the defencist and petty-bourgeois "mass" 
frenzy? It was just this fusion of the masses, proletarian and non- 
proletarian, without distinction of class differences inside of the 
masses, that formed one of the conditions for the defencist epidemic. 
To speak with contempt of a "group of propagandists" advocating; 
a proletarian line does not seem to be very becoming. 

Written in the middle of April, 1917. 

First published in pamphlet form in 1917 by the "Priioi" publishing firnu. 



THE TASKS OF THE PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 

PROPOSED PLATFORM OF A PROLETARIAN PARTY 

THE historical moment through which we are passing is char- 
acterised by the following fundamental traits: 

THE CLASS CHARACTER OF THE REVOLUTION 

1. The old tsarist power, which represented only a handful of 
feudal landowners in command of the entire state machinery (army, 
police, bureaucracy) has been shattered and removed, but not en- 
tirely destroyed. The monarchy has not been formally abolished. 
The Romanov coterie continues monarchist plots. The vast estates 
of the feudal landowners have not been liquidated. 

2. State power in Russia has passed into the hands of a new class, 
namely, the bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisified landowners. To that 
extent the bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia has been com- 
pleted. 

Finding itself in power, the bourgeoisie formed a bloc with openly 
monarchist elements which became notorious by their unusually 
ardent support of Nicholas the Bloody and tplypin the Hangman 
in 1906-1914 (Guchkov and other politicians to the right of the 
Cadets). The new bourgeois government of Lvov and Co. has at- 
tempted to negotiate with the Romanovs concerning the restoration 
of the monarchy in Russia. While shouting revolutionary phrases, 
this government has appointed to positions of authority partisans 
of the old regime. Having turned over the entire state machinery 
(army, police, bureaucracy) to the bourgeoisie, this government 
strives to reform it as little as possible. The revolutionary initiative 
of mass action and the seizure of power by the people from below, 
this only assurance of a real success of the revolution, already meets 
with all sorts of obstacles on the part of the new government. 

The government has not as yet announced the date for the con- 
vocation of the Constituent Assembly. Neither does it touch the 
ownership of the landed estates, this material foundation of feudal 
tsarism. The government does not even contemplate starting an 
investigation of the activities, or making public the activities, 
or controlling the monopolistic financial organisations of the large 
banks, the syndicates and cartels of the capitalists, etc. 

130 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 131 

The main and decisive ministerial posts in the new government 
(the ministry of the interior, the war ministry, i. e., the command 
over the army, the police, the bureaucracy and the entire machinery 
for the oppression of the masses) belong to notorious monarchists 
and adherents of the large landholding system. The Cadets, those 
republicans since yesterday, republicans against their will, have 
been given posts of secondary importance, in no way connected with 
authority over the people and with the machinery of state power. A. 
Kerensky, a representative of the Trudoviks and "also a Socialist,'* 
does literally nothing else but lull to sleep the people's watchfulness 
and attention with well-sounding phrases. 

For all these reasons, the new bourgeois government does not 
deserve the proletariat's confidence even in the field of internal poli- 
tics, and no support of it is admissible on the part of the workers. 

THE FOREIGN POLICIES OF THE NEW GOVERNMENT 

3. In the domain of foreign policy, which was placed in the 
forefront in consequence of objective conditions, the new govern- 
ment stands for the continuation of the imperialist war waged in 
concert with the imperialist powers, England, France, and others, 
for the sake of sharing capitalist spoils, for the sake of strangling 
small and weak peoples. 

Dominated by the interests of Russian capital and its powerful 
protector and master, Anglo-French imperialist capital, which is 
the wealthiest in all the world, the new government, despite the 
wishes expressed most definitely in the name of a clear majority 
of the Russian peoples through the Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' 
Deputies, has taken no real steps whatever towards stopping the 
slaughter of peoples for the interests of the capitalists. It has not 
even published the secret treaties of a frankly predatory character 
(concerning the partition of Persia, the robbing of China, the 
robbing of Turkey, the annexation of East Prussia, the annexation 
of the German colonies, etc.) which, as everybody knows, bind Rus- 
sia to Anglo-French imperialist and predatory capital. It has con- 
firmed these treaties concluded by tsarism which for several centuries 
robbed and oppressed more peoples than did all other tyrants and 
despots, tsarism which not only oppressed but also disgraced and 
demoralised the Great-Russian people by transforming it into an 
executioner of other peoples. 

The new government, having confirmed those shameful and 



132 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

predatory treaties, has not offered to all the belligerent peoples an 
immediate armistice, in spite of the clearly expressed demands of 
a majority of the peoples of Russia voiced through the Soviets of 
Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies. It has evaded the issue by resort- 
ing to solemn, sonorous, glittering but perfectly empty phrases and 
declarations, which have always served, and do serve, in the mouths 
of bourgeois diplomats to deceive the gullible and naive masses 
of an oppressed people. 

4. This is why the new government not only does not deserve the 
slightest confidence in the domain of foreign policy, but even 
to demand of it that it should make known the will of the peoples 
of Russia for peace, that it should renounce annexations, etc., would, 
in reality, mean to deceive the people, to awaken in them hopes that 
cannot be realised, to retard their intellectual enlightenment, indi- 
rectly to reconcile them to a continuation of a war of which the 
social character is determined not by good wishes but by the class 
character of the government that wages the war, by the alliance be- 
tween the class represented by that government and the imperialist 
finance capital of Russia, England and France, etc., by that real and 
actual policy which that class conducts. 

UNIQUE DUAL POWER AND ITS CLASS MEANING 

5. The main peculiarity of our revolution, a peculiarity most 
urgently requiring thoughtful analysis, is dual power established dur- 
ing the very first days after the victory of the revolution. This dual 
power is expressed in the existence of two governments: one is the 
main, real, actual government of the bourgeoisie, the "Provisional 
Government" of Lvov and Co. which has in its hands all the 
organs of power; the other is an additional, a parallel, a "con- 
trolling" government, the Petrograd Soviet of Workers* and Sol- 
diers' Deputies, which has no organs of state power in its hands, 
but which is based directly on a clear majority of the people, on 
the armed workers and soldiers. 

The class origin and the class meaning of this dual power is to 
be found in the fact that the March Revolution has not only swept - 
away the entire tsarist monarchy, has not only transferred all power 
to the bourgeoisie, but has also come close to a revolutionary- 
democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. Pre- 
cisely such a dictatorship (that is, power resting not on law but on 
the direct force of armed masses of the population) and precisely 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 133 

of the above-mentioned classes is the Petrograd and other local 
Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 

6. The second highly important feature of the Russian Revolution 
is the circumstance that the Petrograd Soviet of Soldiers' and 
Workers' Deputies, which obviously enjoys the confidence of most 
of the local Soviets, voluntarily transfers state power to the bour- 
geoisie and its Provisional Government, voluntarily surrenders to 
the latter its own supremacy after having entered into an agreement 
to support it, and limits itself to the role of a supervising body 
assuring the convocation of the Constituent Assembly (the date 
for the convocation of which has not as yet been announced by the 
Provisional Government) . 

This most peculiar situation, unparallelled in history, has led to 
the simultaneous existence and interlocking of two dictatorships: the 
dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (for the Provisional Government of 
Lvov and Co, is a dictatorship, L e., power based not on law nor on 
a previously expressed will of the people, but on seizure by force, 
which seizure was accomplished by a definite class, namely, the bour- 
geoisie) and the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry 
(the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies). 

There is not the slightest doubt but that such a combination can- 
not last long. There can be no two powers in a state. One of them 
is bound to dwindle to nothing, and the entire Russian bourgeoisie 
is already straining all its energies everywhere and in every possible 
way in an endeavour to weaken, to set aside, to reduce to nothing 
the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers 9 Deputies, to create one single 
power for the bourgeoisie. 

Dual power expresses merely a transition moment in the develop- 
ment of the revolution, when it has gone farther than the usual 
bourgeois-democratic revolution, but has not yet reached a "pure'* 
dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. 

The class meaning (and class explanation) of this transitional, 
unstable situation consists in the following: Like every other revolu- 
tion, our revolution demanded the greatest heroism and self-sacrifice 
on the part of the masses in the struggle against tsarism, and all at 
once it set in motion an unusually large number of people. 

One of the chief symptoms, from the point of view of science and 
practical politics, of every real revolution is the unusually brusque, 
sharp and sudden increase in the number of the average run of 



134 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

people who begin to participate, actively, independently, and force- 
fully, in political life, in the state apparatus. 

This is the case of Russia. Russia is now in a state of ebullition. 
Millions of people, politically asleep for ten years, politically 
crushed by the terrible pressure of tsarism and slave labour for 
landowners and manufacturers, have awakened and thrown them- 
selves into politics. Who are these millions of people? Mostly 
small proprietors, petty-bourgeois, people half way between capi- 
talists and wage workers. Russia is the most petty-bourgeois of all 
the European countries. 

A gigantic petty-bourgeois wave has swept everything, has over- 
whelmed the class-conscious proletariat not only numerically but 
also ideologically, i. e. 9 it has infected, it has captured very wide 
circles of workers with the political ideals of the petty bourgeoisie. 

The petty bourgeoisie, in real life, depends upon the bourgeoisie; 
living, as it does, not like proletarians, but like property-owners (as 
far as its position in social production is concerned) , it also follows 
the bourgeoisie in its way of thinking. 

An attitude of unreasoning confidence in the capitalists, the worst 
foes of peace and Socialism, such is at present the attitude of the 
Russian masses, such is the feeling that has grown with revolutionary 
rapidity out of the socio-economic soil of the most petty-bourgeois 
country of Europe. Such is the class basis for the "agreement" 
existing between the Provisional Government and the Soviet of 
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies (I emphasise that I have in mind 
not so much formal agreement as practical support, tacit under- 
standing, a naively trustful yielding of power) an agreement that 
has given to the Guchkovs a fat morsel, actual power, whereas to 
the Soviet it gave promises, honour (for the time being) 9 flattery, 
phrases, assurances, curtsies on the part of the Kerenskys. 

The insufficient numerical strength of the proletariat in Russia, 
its insufficient class-consciousness and organisation this is the 
reverse of the same medal. 

All the Narodnik parties, including the Socialists-Revolutionists, 
have always been petty-bourgeois. The same is true of the party 
of the Organisation Committee (Chkheidze, Tsereteli, etc.); the 
independent revolutionists (Steklov and others) have equally drifted 
with the tide, at least they have not overcome it, they have had no 
time to overcome the tide. 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 135 

THE PECULIARITY OF THE TACTICS FOLLOWING FROM 
THE ABOVE 

7. From the peculiarity of the actual situation indicated above 
follows the peculiarity of present tactics, which are obligatory for a 
Marxist who reckons with objective facts, with masses and classes, 
rather than with persons, etc. 

This peculiarity makes it imperative "to pour vinegar and bile 
into the sweetish water of revolutionary democratic eloquence" (as 
a fellow member of the Central Committee, Teodorovich, expressed 
himself most aptly at yesterday's session of the All-Russian Con- 
gress of Railroad Employes and Workers in Petrograd) . We must 
do the work of criticism, expose the mistakes of the petty-bourgeois 
Socialist-Revolutionist and Social-Democratic parties, prepare and 
weld together the elements of a class-conscious proletarian Com- 
munist Party, free the proletariat from the spell of the "common" 
petty-bourgeois delusion. 

In appearance this is "nothing more" than propaganda work. In 
reality, this is the most practical revolutionary work, for a revolu- 
tion cannot possibly be moved forward when it stalls, it chokes on 
phrases, it treads everlastingly the same spot not because of outside 
obstacles, not because the bourgeoisie uses force (so far Guchkov 
only threatens to use force against the soldiers) , but simply by the 
unthinking confidence of the masses. 

Only by combating this unthinking confidence (and one can and 
must combat it only ideologically, by comradely persuasion, by 
reference to life's experience) can we free ourselves from the reign- 
ing bacchanalia of revolutionary phrases and make real progress 
in stimulating the class-consciousness of the proletariat and of the 
masses in general, as well as their determined initiative everywhere, 
their self-willed realisation, development and strengthening of liber- 
ties, democracy, and the principle of national ownership of all the 
land. 

8. The world-wide experience of bourgeois and feudal govern- 
ments has developed two methods of keeping people enslaved. The 
first is violence. Nicholas Romanov I, called Nicholas Palkin,* 
and Nicholas II, the Bloody, showed to the Russian people a maxi- 
mum of what is possible and impossible in the use of this, the 
hangman's method. But there is another method, the one best 

* From the Russian word polka, meaning stick, club. Ed. 



136 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

developed by the English and French bourgeoisie, who were "taught" 
by a series of great revolutions and revolutionary movements of 
the masses. This is the method of deception, flattery, pretty phrases, 
innumerable promises, cheap sops, conceding the unimportant, re- 
taining the important. 

The peculiarity of the present moment in Russia consists in 
a dizzyingly rapid transition from the first method to the second, 
from violent oppression of the people to flattery and deceitful prom- 
ises. Vaska the cat listens, but continues eating.* Miliukov and 
Guchkov hold power, protect the profits of capital, conduct an im- 
perialist war in the interests of Russian and Anglo-French capital, 
while confining themselves to promises, declamation, impressive 
statements in reply to the speeches of "cooks" like Chkheidze, Tsere- 
teli, Steklov, who threaten, exhort, conjure, beseech, demand, de- 
clare. . . . Vaska the cat listens, but continues eating. 

But from day to day the trustful thoughtlessness and thoughtless 
trustfulness will dwindle away, especially among the proletarians 
and poorest peasants, whom life (their socio-economic position) 
teaches to distrust the capitalists. 

The leaders of the petty bourgeoisie "must" teach the people to 
trust the bourgeoisie. The proletarians must teach the people to 
distrust it. 

REVOLUTIONARY DEFENCISM AND ITS CLASS MEANING 

9. Revolutionary defencism must be recognised as the most im- 
posing and striking manifestation of the petty-bourgeois wave which 
has overwhelmed "nearly everything." It is, indeed, the worst 
enemy of the further progress and success of the Russian Revolution . 

Whoever has yielded on this point and has been unable to free 
himself is lost to the revolution. The masses, however, yield in a 
way different from that of the leaders, and they free themselves also 
differently, by another course of development, by other means. 

Revolutionary defencism is, on the one hand, the result of the 
deception practiced on the masses by the bourgeoisie, the result of 
the peasants* and part of the workers' unthinking confidence; and 
on the other, the expression of the interests and standpoint of the 

* Quotation from a fable by Krylov. The cook finds the cat eating 
chicken; the cook uses moral suasion. The cat listens but continues eating. 
Vaska is the Russian pet name for a torn cat. Ed. 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 137 

petty proprietor, who to a certain extent is interested in annexations 
and bank profits, and who "religiously" guards the traditions of 
tsarism which demoralised the Great-Russians by doing hangman's 
work among other peoples. 

The bourgeoisie deceives the people by playing upon the noble 
pride of the revolution and by painting the situation in a manner 
as if the socio-political character of the war, as far as Russia is 
concerned, has changed with the coming of this stage of the revolu- 
tion, with the substitution of the bourgeois near-republic of Guchkov 
and Miliukov for the Tsar's monarchy. The people believe it, 
for the time being thanks, in a large degree, to the prejudices of 
old times, which cause them to see in the other peoples of Russia, 
outside of the Great-Russians, something like the property and the 
domain of the Great-Russians. The hideous demoralisation of the 
Great-Russian people by tsarism, which taught it to see in other 
peoples something inferior, something that "by right" belonged to 
Great-Russia, could not disappear at once. 

It is required of us that we should be able to explain to the 
masses that the socio-political character of the war is determined 
not by the "good-will" of persons or groups, even peoples, but by 
the position of the class which conducts the war, by the class policy 
of which the war is a continuation, by the interrelations of capital as 
the dominant economic force in modern society, by the imperialist 
character of international capital by Russia's financial, banking, 
and diplomatic dependence upon England and France, etc. To 
explain this to the masses, skilfully and clearly, is not easy; none 
of us could do that all at once without errors. 

But such, and only such, should be the trend or, rather, the con- 
tents of our propaganda. The slightest concession to revolutionary 
defencism is treason to Socialism, is a complete abandonment of 
internationalism, no matter what the beautiful phrases, what the 
"practical" considerations by which we may justify it. 

The slogan, "Down with the War," is correct, to be sure, but it 
does not take into account the peculiarity of the tasks of the moment, 
the necessity to approach the masses in a different way. It reminds 
me of another slogan, "Down with the Tsar," with which an in- 
experienced agitator of the "good old days" went directly and 
simply to the village to be beaten up. Those from the masses 
who are for revolutionary defencism are sincere, not in a personal,, 
but in a class sense, i. e, 9 they belong to such classes (workers ano? 



138 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

poor peasants) as really gain nothing from annexations and the 
strangling of other peoples. They are quite different from the 
bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia who know very well that it is 
impossible to give up annexations without giving up the rule of 
capital, and who unscrupulously deceive the masses with beautiful 
phrases, with no end of promises, no end of assurances. 

The average person who favours revolutionary defencism looks 
upon the thing in a simple matter-of-fact way: "I, for one, do not 
want any annexations, but the German 'presses* me hard, that means 
that I am defending a just cause and not any imperialist interests." 
To a man like this it must be explained very patiently that it is not 
a question of his personal wishes, but of mass, class, political rela- 
tionships and conditions, of the connection between the war and the 
interests of capital, the war and the international network of banks, 
etc. Only such a struggle against defencism is serious and promises 
success, perhaps not very quick, but real and durable. 

How THE WAR CAN BE ENDED 

10. The war cannot be ended "at will." It cannot be ended by 
the decision of one side. It cannot be ended by "sticking the bayonet 
into the ground," to use the expression of a soldier-defencist. 

The war cannot be ended by an "agreement" between the Socialists 
of various countries, by "demonstrations" of the proletarians of 
various countries, by the "will" of the peoples, etc. All such 
phrases, filling the articles of the defencist, semi-defencist and 
semi-internationalist papers, as well as the numerous resolutions, 
appeals, manifestos, declarations of the Soviet of Workers' and 
Soldiers* Deputies, all these phrases are nothing but empty, harmless, 
goody-goody wishes of the petty-bourgeois. There is nothing more 
harmful than phrases like the "manifestation of the peoples' will to 
peace," the sequence of revolutionary proletarian actions (after the 
Russian proletariat comes the German), etc. All this i's in the 
spirit of Louis Blanc, it is sweet dreams, a game of "political cam- 
paigning," in reality a repetition of the fable about Vaska the cat. 

The war was not born out of the ill-will of capitalist robbers, al- 
though it undoubtedly is fought solely in their interests and they 
alone get rich from it. The war was born out of half a century of de- 
velopment of international capital, its billions of threads and connec- 
tions. One cannot jump out of an imperialist war, one cannot attain 
a democratic unoppressive peace without overthrowing the power of 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 139 

capital, without the state power passing to a different class, the 
proletariat. 

The Russian Revolution of March, 1917, was the beginning of the 
transformation of the imperialist war into civil war. The revolution 
took the first step towards ending the war. Only the second step 
can make the end of the war a certainly, namely, the passing of 
state power to the proletariat. This will be the beginning of a 
"breach in the front" on a world scale, a breach in the front of 
the interests of capital, and only after making this gap can the 
proletariat save mankind from the horrors of war and give it the 
blessings of a durable peace. 

To such a "breach in the front'* of capital the Russian Revolution 
has already brought the Russian proletariat by creating the Soviets 
of Workers' Deputies. 

THE NEW TYPE OF STATE ARISING IN OUR REVOLUTION 

11. The Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', Peasants', etc., Deputies 
are not understood, not only in the sense that their class character, 
their part in the Russian Revolution, is not clear to the majority. 
They are not understood also in the sense that they constitute a 
new form, rather, a new type of state. 

The most perfect and advanced type of bourgeois state is that 
of a parliamentary democratic republic: power is vested in parlia- 
ment; state machinery, apparatus, and organ of administration are 
the usual ones: a standing army, police, bureaucracy, practically un- 
changeable, privileged, and standing above the people. 

But revolutionary epochs, beginning with the end of the nineteenth 
century, bring to the fore the highest type of democratic state, the 
kind of state which in certain respects, to quote Engels, ceases to be 
a state, "is no state in the proper sense of the word." 10 This is 
a state of the type of the Paris Commune, a state replacing the 
standing army and the police by a direct arming of the people itself. 
This is the essence of the Commune, which has been so much mis- 
represented and slandered by bourgeois writers, which, among other 
things, has been erroneously accused of wishing to "introduce" 
Socialism immediately. 

This is the type of state which the Russian Revolution began 
to create in the years 1905 and 1917. A Republic of Soviets of 
Workers', Soldiers', Peasants', etc., Deputies, united in an All-Rus- 
sian Constituent Assembly of the people's representatives, or in a 



140 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

Soviet of Soviets, etc. this is what is already coming into life now, 
at this very time, upon the initiative of millions of people who, of 
their own accord, are creating a democracy in their own way, 
without waiting until Cadet gentlemen-professors will have written 
drafts of laws for a parliamentary bourgeois republic, or until the 
pedants and routine worshippers of petty-bourgeois "Social-Democ- 
racy," like Plekhanov and Kautsky, have abandoned their distortion 
of the teaching of Marxism concerning the state. 

Marxism differs from Anarchism in that it admits the necessity 
of the state and state power in a revolutionary period in general, and 
in the epoch of transition from capitalism to Socialism in particular, 

Marxism differs from the petty-bourgeois, opportunist "Social- 
Democracy" of Plekhanov, Kautsky and Co. in that it admits the 
necessity for the above-mentioned periods of a state not like the 
usual parliamentary bourgeois republic, but like the Paris Com- 
mune. 

The main differences between the latter type of state and the bour- 
geois state are the following: 

It is extremely easy to revert from a bourgeois republic to a 
monarchy (as history proves) , since all the machinery of repression 
is left intact: army, police, bureaucracy. The Commune and the 
Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies smash and 
remove that machinery. 

A parliamentary bourgeois republic strangles and crushes the in- 
dependent political life of the masses, their direct participation in 
the democratic upbuilding of all state life from top to bottom. The 
opposite is true about the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 

The latter reproduce the type of state that was being evolved by 
the Paris Commune and that Marx called the "finally discovered 
political form in which the economic liberation of the toilers can 
take place." m 

The usual objection is that the Russian people is not as yet pre- 
pared for the "introduction" of a Commune. This was the argument 
of serf owners who claimed that the peasants were not prepared for 
freedom. The Commune, i. e. 9 the Soviets of Workers' and Peasants' 
Deputies, does not "introduce," does not intend to "introduce" and 
should not introduce any reorganisations which are not absolutely 
ripe both in economic reality and in the consciousness of an over- 
whelming majority of the people. The more terrible the economic 
collapse and the crisis produced by the war, the more urgent is the 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 141 

need of a most perfect political form which facilitates the healing 
of the wounds inflicted by the war upon mankind. The less organisa- 
tional experience the Russian people has, the more determinedly 
must we proceed with the organisational development of the people, 
not leaving it merely to the bourgeois politicians and bureaucrats 
with sinecures. 

The sooner we cast off the pseudo-Marxian prejudices of Ple- 
khanov, Kautsky and Co., the more diligently we start helping the 
people everywhere and immediately to organise Soviets of Workers* 
and Peasants' Deputies; the longer Messrs. Lvov and Co. procrasti- 
nate the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the easier will it 
be for the people to make (through the medium of the Constituent 
Assembly, or outside of it, if Lvov delays its convocation long) its 
decision in favour of a Republic of Soviets of Workers' and Peas- 
ants' Deputies. Blunders in the new organisational reconstruction 
by the people are inevitable at the beginning, but it is better to 
blunder while progressing than to wait until the professors of law 
called by Mr. Lvov will have written laws concerning the convoca- 
tion of the Constituent Assembly, the perpetuation of the parlia- 
mentary bourgeois republic and the strangulation of the Soviets of 
Workers' and Peasants' Deputies. 

If we organise and conduct our propaganda efficiently, not only 
the proletarians but nine-tenths of the peasantry will be against the 
re-establishment of the police, against an irremovable and privileged 
bureaucracy, against an army separated from the people. This alone 
constitutes the new type of state. 

12. The substitution of a national militia for the police is a 
transformation that follows from the entire course of the revolu- 
tion and that is now being introduced in most localities of Russia. 
We must make it clear to the masses that in the majority of revolu- 
tions of the usual bourgeois type, a transformation of that sort was 
very ephemeral and that the bourgeoisie, however democratic and 
republican it may have been, soon re-established the police of the 
old tsarist type, a police separated from the people, commanded by 
bourgeois and capable of oppressing the people in every way. 

There is only one way to prevent the re-establishment of the old 
police: to organise a national militia, to fuse it with the army (the 
standing army to be replaced by a general arming of the people). 
The militia should comprise all citizens of both sexes between the 
ages of fifteen and sixty-five, these age limits being selected approxi- 



140 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

Soviet of Soviets, etc. this is what is already coming into life now, 
at this very time, upon the initiative of millions of people who, of 
their own accord, are creating a democracy in their own way, 
without waiting until Cadet gentlemen-professors will have written 
drafts of laws for a parliamentary bourgeois republic, or until the 
pedants and routine worshippers of petty-bourgeois "Social-Democ- 
racy," like Plekhanov and Kautsky, have abandoned their distortion 
of the teaching of Marxism concerning the state. 

Marxism differs from Anarchism in that it admits the necessity 
of the state and state power in a revolutionary period in general, and 
in the epoch of transition from capitalism to Socialism in particular. 

Marxism differs from the petty-bourgeois, opportunist "Social- 
Democracy" of Plekhanov, Kautsky and Co. in that it admits the 
necessity for the above-mentioned periods of a state not like the 
usual parliamentary bourgeois republic, but like the Paris Com- 
mune. 

The main differences between the latter type of state and the bour- 
geois state are the following: 

It is extremely easy to revert from a bourgeois republic to a 
monarchy (as history proves) , since all the machinery of repression 
is left intact: army, police, bureaucracy. The Commune and the 
Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies smash and 
remove that machinery. 

A parliamentary bourgeois republic strangles and crushes the in- 
dependent political life of the masses, their direct participation in 
the democratic upbuilding of all state life from top to bottom. The 
opposite is true about the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 

The latter reproduce the type of state that was being evolved by 
the Paris Commune and that Marx called the "finally discovered 
political form in which the economic liberation of the toilers can 
take place." 101 

The usual objection is that the Russian people is not as yet pre- 
pared for the "introduction" of a Commune. This was the argument 
of serf owners who claimed that the peasants were not prepared for 
freedom. The Commune 9 i. e. 9 the Soviets of Workers' and Peasants' 
Deputies, does not "introduce," does not intend to "introduce" and 
should not introduce any reorganisations which are not absolutely 
ripe both in economic reality and in the consciousness of an over- 
whelming majority of the people. The more terrible the economic 
collapse and the crisis produced by the war, the more urgent is the 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 141 

need of a most perfect political form which facilitates the healing 
of the wounds inflicted by the war upon mankind. The less organisa- 
tional experience the Russian people has, the more determinedly 
must we proceed with the organisational development of the people, 
not leaving it merely to the bourgeois politicians and bureaucrats 
with sinecures. 

The sooner we cast off the pseudo-Marxian prejudices of Ple- 
khanov, Kautsky and Co., the more diligently we start helping the 
people everywhere and immediately to organise Soviets of Workers* 
and Peasants' Deputies; the longer Messrs. Lvov and Co. procrasti- 
nate the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the easier will it 
be for the people to make (through the medium of the Constituent 
Assembly, or outside of it, if Lvov delays its convocation long) its 
decision in favour of a Republic of Soviets of Workers' and Peas- 
ants' Deputies. Blunders in the new organisational reconstruction 
by the people are inevitable at the beginning, but it is better to 
blunder while progressing than to wait until the professors of law 
called by Mr. Lvov will have written laws concerning the convoca- 
tion of the Constituent Assembly, the perpetuation of the parlia- 
mentary bourgeois republic and the strangulation of the Soviets of 
Workers' and Peasants' Deputies. 

If we organise and conduct our propaganda efficiently, not only 
the proletarians but nine-tenths of the peasantry will be against the 
re-establishment of the police, against an irremovable and privileged 
bureaucracy, against an army separated from the people. This alone 
constitutes the new type of state. 

12. The substitution of a national militia for the police is a 
transformation that follows from the entire course of the revolu- 
tion and that is now being introduced in most localities of Russia. 
We must make it clear to the masses that in the majority of revolu- 
tions of the usual bourgeois type, a transformation of that sort was 
very ephemeral and that the bourgeoisie, however democratic and 
republican it may have been, soon re-established the police of tie 
old tsarist type, a police separated from the people, commanded by 
bourgeois and capable of oppressing the people in every way. 

There is only one way to prevent the re-establishment of the old 
police: to organise a national militia, to fuse it with the army (the 
standing army to be replaced by a general arming of the people). 
The militia should comprise all citizens of both sexes between the 
ages of fifteen and sixty-five, these age limits being selected approxi- 



142 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

mately to exclude minors and old people. Capitalists should pay 
their employes, servants and others for the days devoted to public 
service in the militia. Unless women are drawn into taking an inde- 
pendent part not only in political life generally, but also in daily 
social service obligatory to every one, it is idle to speak not only 
of Socialism but even of complete and stable democracy. Certain 
"police" functions, such as the care of the sick, of the homeless 
children, pure food supervision, etc., will never be satisfactorily 
discharged until women are on a footing of perfect equality with 
men, not only on paper but in reality. 

To prevent the re-establishment of the police, to attract all 
organisational forces of the entire people to the creation of a 
universal militia such are the tasks that the proletariat must bring 
to the masses in order to protect, strengthen and develop the revolu- 
tion. 

THE AGRARIAN AND THE NATIONAL PROGRAMMES 
13. We cannot know for certain at present whether a gigantic 
agrarian revolution will develop in the near future in the Russian 
village. We cannot know how deep is the class cleavage that has 
undoubtedly deepened in recent time between agricultural labourers 
and the poorest peasants ("semi-proletarians") on the one hand, and 
the well-to-do and middle peasants (capitalists and petty capitalists) 
on the other. All such questions will be decided, and can be 
decided, by experience only. 

We are in duty bound, however, as the party of the proletariat, 
immediately to step forth not only with an agrarian programme but 
also with the advocacy of immediately realisable practical measures 
in the interests of a peasant agrarian revolution in Russia. 

We must demand the nationalisation of all lands, i. e., the passing 
of all land ownership in the state to the central state power. This 
power shall fix the size, etc., of the migration fund,* issue laws for 
the conservation of forests, for melioration, etc., absolutely prohibit 
the intercession of middlemen between the landowner the state 
and the tenant the tiller (prohibit every transfer of land). The 
disposition of all the land, however, the working out of all local 
rules of ownership and use, must not be left in the hands of bureau- 
crats and officials but be vested, wholly and exclusively, in the local 
and regional Soviets of Peasants* Deputies. 

*Land to be allotted to peasants desirous of migrating from congested 
areas. Ed. 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 143 

In order to improve the technique of grain raising and to increase 
production in general, in order also to develop rational cultivation 
on a large scale, socially controlled, we must see to it that every 
Peasants' Committee organises out of the various estates confiscated 
by it a large model estate controlled hy the Soviets of Agricultural 
Labourers' Deputies. 

To offset the petty-bourgeois phrases and policy of the Socialists- 
Revolutionists, particularly the empty words concerning the "stand- 
ard of consumption" or "labour standard," the "socialisation of 
the land," etc., the party of the proletariat must make it clear that 
the system of small peasant households where production for the 
market prevails cannot save mankind from poverty or oppression. 

Without necessarily splitting at once the Soviets of Peasants' 
Deputies, the party of the proletariat must make clear the necessity 
of organising special Soviets of Agricultural Labourers' Deputies 
and special Soviets of Deputies from the poorest (semi-proletarian) 
peasants or, at least, special conferences of Deputies of the same 
class position continually meeting as separate groups or parties 
within the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies. Otherwise all the sugary 
phraseology of the Narodniks on the subject of the peasants gen- 
erally will prove a shield to cover up the deception of the destitute 
mass by the well-to-do peasants who are only one of the varieties 
of capitalists. 

To offset the bourgeois-liberal or purely bureaucratic preach- 
ments on the part of many Socialists-Revolutionists and Soviets of 
Workers' and Peasants' Deputies who advise the peasants not to 
seize the landlords' lands and not to start any agrarian reform 
pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the party of 
the proletariat must urge the peasants to bring about at once, on 
their own initiative, the agrarian transformation, and to confiscate 
at once the landlords* lands by the decisions of the local Soviets of 
Peasants' Deputies. 

In this connection, it is particularly important to insist on the 
necessity of increasing the production of foodstuffs for the soldiers 
at the front and for the cities, on the absolute inadmissibility of any 
kind of destruction or wastage of stock, tools, machinery, buildings, 
etc. 

14. As regards the national question, the proletarian party must, 
first of all, insist on the promulgation and immediate realisation 
of full freedom of separation from Russia for all nations and peoples 



144 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

who were oppressed by tsarism, who were forcibly included or 
forcibly retained within the boundaries of the state, L e., annexed. 

All statements, declarations and manifestoes concerning the re- 
nunciation of annexations not accompanied by actual realisation of 
the freedom of separation, reduce themselves to bourgeois deception 
of the people, or to petty-bourgeois pious wishes. 

The proletarian party strives to create as large a state as possible, 
for this is in the interest of the workers; it strives to bring the 
nations closely together, to fuse them, but it intends to bring that 
about not by the use of force, but only by a free, brotherly union of 
the workers and the toiling masses of all nations. 

The more democratic the Russian republic is, the more speedily it 
will organise itself into a republic of Soviets of Workers' and 
Peasants' Deputies, the more powerful the force of attraction such a 
republic will be for the toiling masses of all nations. 

Full freedom of separation, the broadest possible local (and na- 
tional) autonomy, guarantees for the rights of national minorities 
elaborated in detail such is the programme of the revolutionary 
proletariat. 

NATIONALISATION OF BANKS AND CAPITALIST SYNDICATES 

15. The party of the proletariat cannot by any means make it 
its aim to introduce Socialism in a country of small peasantry as 
long as the overwhelming majority of the population has not realised 
the necessity of a Socialist revolution. 

Only bourgeois sophists, however, hiding behind "near-Marxist" 
phrases, can deduct from this truth a justification of a policy that 
tends to put off immediate revolutionary measures, which are per- 
fectly ripe, which were frequently introduced during the war by a 
number of bourgeois states, and which are absolutely necessary 
for the struggle against approaching total economic disorganisation 
and famine. 

Such measures as the nationalisation of the land, of all the banks 
and capitalist syndicates or, at least, the establishment of an immedi- 
ate control of the Soviets of "Workers' Deputies over them, by no 
means signifying the "introduction" of Socialism, must be abso- 
lutely fought for, and as far as possible introduced in a revolu- 
tionary way. Without such measures, which are only steps toward 
Socialism, and which are completely realisable economically, it is 
impossible to heal the wounds inflicted by the war and to prevent 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 145 

the threatening collapse. The party of the revolutionary proletariat 
will never hesitate to lay hands on the unheard-of profits of the capi- 
talists and bankers who enrich themselves most scandalously "in 
the war." 

THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN THE SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL 

16. The international obligations of the Russian working class 
have been put in the forefront most forcefully these days. 

Everybody swears by internationalism in our day; even chauvin- 
ist-defencists, even Messrs, Plekhanov and Potresov, even Kerensky, 
call themselves internationalists. The more urgent is the duty of the 
proletarian party to contrast, most clearly, decisively, definitely, 
internationalism in deed with internationalism in words. 

Mere appeals to the workers of all countries, empty professions 
of international faith, direct or indirect attempts to establish a 
"sequence" of proletarian action in the various belligerent coun- 
tries, attempts at concluding "agreements" between the Socialists 
of the belligerent countries concerning revolutionary struggle, 
pother about Socialist congresses aiming at peace propaganda, 
all this, as far as the objective meaning is concerned, no matter 
how sincere the authors of such ideas, attempts and plans may be, 
is mere talk, at best innocent little wishes good only to cover up the 
deception of the masses by the chauvinists. The French social- 
chauvinists, most adroit and best versed in methods of parlia- 
mentary juggling, have long since broken the record of spouting 
incredibly loud and ringing pacifist and internationalist phrases 
coupled with the most brazen betrayal of Socialism and the Interna- 
tional, by entering governments that are waging an imperialist 
war, by voting for credits or loans (as Chkheidze, Skobelev, 
Tsereteli and Steklov have been doing recently in Russia) and 
actively opposing the revolutionary struggle in their own country, 
etc., etc. 

Good people often forget the cruel, savage setting of the im- 
perialist World War. In such a setting, phrases are intolerable; 
innocent sweet wishes are despicable. 

There is one, and only one, kind of real internationalism: hard 
work at developing the revolutionary movement and the revolu- 
tionary struggle in one's own land, and the support (by propaganda, 
sympathy, material aid) of such, and only such, struggles and 
policies in every country without exception. 



146 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

Everything else is deception and Manilovism.* 

The international Socialist and labour movement the world over 
has in the course of two and a half years of war evolved three 
tendencies. Whoever declines to recognise the existence of these 
three tendencies, to analyse them, to fight persistently for real active 
internationalism, condemns himself to impotence, helplessness and 
errors. 

The three tendencies are: 

1. Social-chauvinists, i. e., Socialists in words and chauvinists 
in fact, people who are for "national defence" in any imperialist 
war (and particularly in this imperialist war) . 

These men are our class enemies. They have gone over to the 
bourgeoisie. 

Such is the majority among the official leaders of the official 
Social-Democracy in every country. Plekhanov and Co. in Russia, 
the Scheidemanns in Germany, Renaudel, Guesde and Sembat in 
France, Bissolati and Co. in Italy, Hyndman, the Fabians and the 
Labourites in England, Branting and Co. in Sweden, Troelstra and 
his party in Holland, Stauning and his party in Denmark, Victor 
Berger and other "defenders of the fatherland" in America, etc. 

2. The second tendency, the so-called "centre," people vacillating 
between social-chauvinism and real internationalism. 

Those of the "centre" swear and vow that they are Marxists, in- 
ternationalists, that they are for peace, for exerting "pressure" 
upon the governments, for presenting all sorts of "demands" to the 
governments that the latter "manifest the people's will to peace," 
for all sorts of peace campaigns, for peace without annexations, etc., 
etc., and for peace with the social-chauvinists. The "centre" is 
for "unity," the "centre" is against schism. 

The "centre" is a realm of sweet petty-bourgeois phrases, of in- 
ternationalism in words, cowardly opportunism, and fawning be- 
fore the social-chauvinists in deeds. 

The gist of the matter is that the members of the "centre" do 
not believe in the necessity of revolution against their bourgeois 
governments; do not preach such revolution; do not carry on any 
determined revolutionary struggles, but in order to dodge such strug- 
gles resort to trite and most "Marxist" sounding excuses. 

The social-chauvinists are our class enemies, they are bourgeois 

*ManiIov is a character in Gogol's pead Souls who is sentimental and 
dreams of impossible things. Ed. 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 147 

elements in the labour movement. Objectively they represent 
strata or groups of the working class bribed by the bourgeoisie 
(better wages, positions of honour, etc,) and helping their bour- 
geoisie to rob and oppress small and weak peoples, to fight for 
the division of capitalist spoils. 

The members of the "centre" group are routine worshippers, 
slaves of rotten legality, corrupted by parliamentarism, etc., bu- 
reaucrats accustomed to nice sinecures and "peaceful" labours* 
Historically and economically, they do not represent any special 
stratum of society; they only represent the transition from the 
earlier labour movement as it was between 1871 and 1914, from 
a period that had given much valuable experience to the proletariat 
particularly in the indispensable art of slow, continued, systematic 
organisation work on a large, very large, scale, to the new period 
which has become objectively necessary since the first imperialist 
World War which has inaugurated the era of social revolution. 

In Karl Kautsky, the main leader and representative of the "cen- 
tre" and the most outstanding authority in the Second International 
(1889-1914) , we have seen since August, 1914, a complete breakdown 
of Marxism, an unheard-of lack of principles, a series of most 
pitiful vacillations and betrayals. Among these centrists are 
Kautsky, Haase, Ledebour, and the so-called "labour-group" 
[Arbeitsgemeinschaft] in the Reichstag; in France, Longuet, Pres- 
semane and the so-called "minoritaires" 102 (Mensheviks) in gen- 
eral; in England, Philip Snowden, Ramsay MacDonald and nu- 
merous other leaders of the Independent Labour Party, 103 and a 
part of the British Socialist Party; 10 * Morris Hillquit and many 
others in the United States; Turati, Treves, Modigliani and others in 
Italy; Robert Grimm and others in Switzerland; Victor Adler and 
Co. in Austria; the party of the Organisation Committee, Axelrod, 
Martov, Chkheidze, Tsereteli and others in Russia, etc. 

It goes without saying that at times individual persons do un- 
consciously drift from social-chauvinism to "centrism," and vice 
versa. Every Marxist knows, however, that classes retain their 
distinguishing characteristics regardless of the free movement of 
individuals from one class to another; similarly, movements in 
political life retain their distinguishing characteristics regardless 
of the free migration of individuals from one movement to another, 
and despite all attempts and efforts to fuse movements. 

3. The third, real internationalist trend is most nearly represented 



148 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

by the "Zimmerwald Left." In the supplement we reprint its Mani- 
festo of September, 1915, so that the reader may become acquainted 
with the inception of this movement. 

It is characterised by the complete break with social-chauvinism 
and "centrism," a relentless war against the imperialist home gov- 
ernment and the imperialist home bourgeoisie. Its principle is "Our 
greatest enemy is at home." A ruthless struggle against nauseat- 
ingly sweet social-pacifist phrases (a social-pacifist is a Socialist 
in words, and a bourgeois-pacifist in deeds; bourgeois-pacifists 
dream of an everlasting peace without the overthrow of the yoke 
and domination of capital) and against all sophistry employed to 
demonstrate the impossibility, the inappropriateness, the untimeli- 
ness of a proletarian revolutionary struggle, of a proletarian So- 
cialist revolution in connection with the present war. 

The most outstanding representative of this tendency in Ger- 
many is the "Spartacus" or "International" Group, to which Karl 
Liebknecht belongs. Karl Liebknecht is the best known representa- 
tive of this tendency and of the new, real, proletarian International. 
Karl Liebknecht called upon the workers and soldiers of Ger- 
many to turn their guns upon their own government. Karl Lieb- 
knecht did that openly from the tribune of parliament, the 
Reichstag. He then went out to a demonstration on Potsdamer 
Platz, one of the largest public squares in Berlin, distributing 
illegally printed proclamations carrying the slogan "Down with 
the government." He was arrested and sentenced to hard labour* 
He is now serving his term in a German prison, like hundreds, if 
not thousands, of other real German Socialists who have been im- 
prisoned for waging a struggle against war. 

Karl Liebknecht attacked mercilessly in his speeches and his 
writings not only the German Plekhanovs and the Potresovs (the 
Scheidemanns, Legiens, Davids, etc.), but also the German cen- 
trists, the German Chkheidzes and Tseretelis (Kautsky, Haase, Lede- 
bour and Co.). 

Karl Liebknecht and his friend, Otto Ruble, two out of one 
hundred and ten [Social-Democratic] Deputies in the Reichstag, 
broke the discipline, destroyed the "unity" with the "centre" and 
the chauvinists, and fought against everybody. Liebknecht alone 
represents Socialism, the proletarian cause, the proletarian revolu- 
tion. The rest of the German Social-Democracy, to quote the apt 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 149 

words of Rosa Luxemburg (also a member and one of the leaders 
of the Spartacus group), is "a stinking corpse." 

Another group of real internationalists in Germany is gathered 
around the Bremen paper, Arbeiterpolitik. 

Closest to real internationalists are: in France, Loriot and his 
friends (Bourderon and Merrheim have degenerated into social- 
pacifism), as well as the Frenchman Henri Guilbeaux, who is 
publishing in Switzerland a paper called Demain; in England, the 
paper Trade Unionist, and some of the members of the British 
Socialist Party and of the Independent Labour Party (for instance, 
William Russell, who has openly called for a break with the 
leaders who have betrayed Socialism), the Scottish public school 
teacher and Socialist, MacLean, who has been sentenced to hard 
labour by the bourgeois government of England for his revolu- 
tionary activity against the war; hundreds of English Socialists 
who are in jail for the same offence. They, only they, are inter- 
nationalists in deed. In the United States, the Socialist Labour 
Party and certain elements of the opportunist Socialist Party which 
in January, 1917, began to publish the paper The International- 
ist 105 ; in Holland, the party of the 'Tribunists," those who publish 
the daily paper Tribune (Anton Pannekoek, Herman Gorter, Wyn- 
koop, and Henriette Roland-Hoist, who, though a centrist at Zim- 
merwald, has now joined our ranks) ; in Sweden, the party of the 
youth or the Left with leaders such as Lindhagen, Ture Nerman, 
Carlson, Strom and S. Hoglund, who at Zimmerwald was per- 
sonally active in the organisation of the Zimmerwald Left, and 
who is now serving a prison term for his activity against the war; 
in Denmark, Trier and his friends who have left the now purely 
bourgeois "Social-Democratic" Party, headed by Minister Staun- 
ing; in Bulgaria, the "narrow-minded" 106 ; in Italy, the closest are 
Constantino Lazzari, secretary of the party, and Serrati, editor of 
the central organ, Avanti; in Poland, Karl Radek, Hanecki and 
other leaders of the Social-Democracy, united through the "District 
Administration"; Rosa Luxemburg, Tyszka, and other leaders of the 
Social-Democracy united through the "Central Administration"; in 
Switzerland, those "Lefts," who wrote the supporting argument for 
the "referendum" (January, 1917), in order to fight against the 
social-chauvinists and the "centre" of their country and who at the 
Zurich Canton Socialist Convention, held at Toss on February 
11, 1917, introduced a consistently revolutionary resolution against 



150 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

the war 107 ; in Austria, the young Left-wing friends of Friedrich 
Adler, who have been acting partly through the "Karl Marx" Club, 
at Vienna, a club now closed by the very reactionary Austrian gov- 
ernment which is destroying Adler for his heroic but ill-considered 
attempt upon the life of the Prime Minister, etc., etc. 

It is not a matter of shadings, these exist even among the "Lefts." 
It is a matter of the entire tendency. The point is, that it is by no 
means easy to be an internationalist in deeds during a terrible im- 
perialist war. Such people are rare, but it is on them alone that 
the future of Socialism depends; they alone are the leaders of 
the masses, not the corrupters of the masses. 

The difference between reformists and revolutionists in the ranks 
of the Social-Democrats and Socialists in general cannot but 
undergo, objectively, a positive change in the midst of an im- 
perialist war. He who simply confines himself to "demanding" 
from bourgeois governments "the conclusion of peace" or "the 
manifestation of the will of the peoples toward peace," etc., is, 
in fact, degenerating into a reformist. For, objectively, the problem 
of war can be solved only in a revolutionary way. 

There is no escape from this war to a democratic, non-oppressive 
peace, to a liberation of the peoples from the yoke of paying billions 
of interest to the capitalists enriched by the war, there is no other 
escape except a proletarian revolution. 

We can, and we must, demand all sorts of reforms from the 
bourgeois governments, but it is impossible, without falling into 
Manilovism and reformism, to demand from those people and 
classes who are entangled by a thousand ties of imperialist capital 
to break those ties; yet unless we break those ties all talk of war 
against war is empty, deceitful prattle. 

The "Kautskians," the "centre," are revolutionists in words, re- 
formists in deeds, internationalists in words, supporters of social- 
chauvinism in deeds. 

THE BREAKDOWN OF THE ZIMMERWALD INTERNATIONAL. THE 
NECESSITY OF FORMING A THIRD INTERNATIONAL 

17. The Zimmerwald International took from the very first a 
vacillating, Kautskian, "centrist" position which immediately com- 
pelled the Zimmerwald Left to fence itself off, to separate itself 
from the rest, and to come forth with its own Manifesto (published 
in Switzerland in Russian, in German and in French) . 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 151 

The chief fault of the Zimmerwald International, the cause of 
its breakdown (for from a political and ideological viewpoint it 
has already broken down) , was its vacillation, its indecision, when 
it came to the most important practical and all-determining question 
of breaking completely with the social-chauvinists and the old 
social-chauvinist International, headed by Vandervelde and Huys- 
mans at The Hague (Holland), etc. 

We Russians do not as yet know that the Zimmerwald majority 
are really Kautskians. But this is a basic fact which must not be 
minimised and of which Western Europe is now fully aware. Even 
that chauvinist, that extreme German chauvinist, Heilmann, editor 
of the arch-chauvininst Chemnitzer Volksstimme 108 and contributor 
to the arch-chauvinist Glocke of Parvus fa "Social Democrat," of 
course, and an ardent partisan of the Social-Democratic "unity'*), 
was compelled to acknowledge in the press that the "centre," or 
Kautskyism and the Zimmerwald majority were one and the same 
thing. 

The end of 1916 and the beginning of 1917 had definitely proved 
it. In spite of the condemnation of social-pacifism contained in 
the Kienthal Manifesto, the whole Zimmerwald Right, the entire 
Zimmerwald majority, degenerated into social-pacifism: Kautsky 
and Co., in a series of declarations during the months of January 
and February, 1917; Bourderon and Merrheim in France, who cast 
their votes together with the social-chauvinists for the pacifist reso- 
lutions of the Socialist Party (December, 1916) and of the Con- 
federation Generale du Travail* (the national organisation of 
French labour unions), also in December, 1916; Turati and Co. in 
Italy, where the entire party took a social-pacifist position, while 
Turati himself, in a speech delivered on December 17, 1916, 
"slipped" (and not by accident, of course) into nationalistic 
phrases embellishing the imperialistic war. 

In January, 1917, the chairman of the Zimmerwald and Kienthal 
conferences, Robert Grimm, joined hands with the social-chauvinists 
of his own party (Greulich, Pflueger, Gustav Mueller and others) 
against the real internationalists. 

At two conferences of Zimmerwaldists of various countries, held 
in January and February of 1917, this dual, double-faced behaviour 
of the Zimmerwald majority was formally stigmatised by the Left 
internationalists of several countries, by Miinzenberg, secretary of 
the internationalist organisation of the Young People's [Socialist] 



152 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

movement and editor of the excellent internationalist publication 
Die Jugendinternationale, < 110 by Zinoviev, representative of the Cen- 
tral Committee of our party, by Karl Radek of the Polish Social- 
Democratic Party (the "District Administration"), by Hartstein, a 
German Social-Democrat and member of the "Spartacus Group." 

To the Russian proletariat much has been given. Nowhere on 
earth has the working class yet succeeded in unfolding so much 
revolutionary energy as it has in Russia. But much is demanded 
from those to whom much is given. 

We can stand no longer this Zimmerwald mire. We must not, 
on account of the Zimmerwald "Kautskians," remain more or less 
allied with the chauvinist International of the Plekhanovs and 
Scheidemanns. We must break with this International immediately. 
We ought to remain in Zimmerwald only to gather information. 

It is precisely we who must found, right now, without delay, a 
new, revolutionary, proletarian International, or rather, not to 
fear to acknowledge publicly that this new International is already 
established and working. 

This is the International of those "internationalists in deed," 
whom I have fully enumerated above, they alone represent the 
revolutionary, internationalist masses, they and not the corrupters 
of the masses. 

Even if there are few Socialists of that type, let every Russian 
worker ask himself how many really conscious revolutionists there 
were in Russia on the eve of the March Revolution in 1917. 

It is not so much a question of numbers; it is a question of ex- 
pressing correctly the ideas and the policy of the truly revolutionary 
proletariat. Never mind about "proclaiming" internationalism; the 
essential thing is for us to be, even when the times are most trying, 
real internationalists in deed. 

Let us not deceive ourselves by hopes for agreements and in- 
ternational congresses. As long as this imperialist war lasts, in- 
ternational relations are held as in a vise by the military dictator- 
ship of the imperialist bourgeoisie. If even the "republican" 
Miliukov who had to suffer the "parallel government" of the Soviet 
of Workers' Deputies, did not allow into Russia, in April, 1917, 
Fritz Flatten, the Swiss Socialist, secretary of the party and inter- 
nationalist, member of the Zimmerwald and Kienthal conferences, 
although Flatten was married to a Russian woman, and was going 
for a visit to his wife's relatives, and although he had taken part in 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 153 

the Revolution of 1905 in Riga, had served a term in a Russian 
prison for that offence, had given bail to the tsarist government for 
his release and wanted that bail returned to him if the republican 
Miliukov could do such a thing, in April, 1917, and in Russia, then 
we can see how much stock we -may take in the promises and 
offers, phrases and declarations made by the bourgeoisie on the 
subject of peace without annexations, etc. 

And how about the arrest of Trotsky by the English Govern- 
ment? m And how about Martov being refused permission to 
leave Switzerland; 112 how about the attempt made to lure him to 
England, where he would share Trotsky's fate? 

Let us not create illusions for ourselves. We need no self- 
deception. 

"To wait" for international conferences and congresses is simply 
to betray internationalism, since it is established that Socialists 
loyal to internationalism are not allowed to come here even from 
Stockholm, they are not allowed even to send letters to us, despite 
the thoroughly rigorous military censorship that can be and is 
fully exercised on all writings. 

Let us not "wait," let rather our party found at once a third 
International, and hundreds of Socialists imprisoned in England 
and in Germany will heave a sigh of relief; thousands upon thou- 
sands of German workers who are now organising strikes and 
demonstrations in an effort to frighten the scoundrel and murderer, 
Wilhelm, will read in illegal leaflets about our decision, about 
our fraternal confidence in Karl Liebknecht (and in him alone), 
about the decision to fight even now the "revolutionary defencists"; 
they will read and gain strength in their revolutionary interna- 
tionalism. 

Much is demanded from him to whom much is given. There is 
no other land on earth as free as Russia is now. Let us make use 
of this freedom not to support the bourgeoisie or bourgeois "revolu- 
tionary defencism," but to organize a third International, bold and 
honest and proletarian, the kind which Liebknecht would have, an 
International which will set its face boldly against all traitors, all 
social-chauvinists and the vacillating people of the "centre." 

18. After what I have just said, I need not waste any words to 
explain that a union of the Social-Democrats of Russia is impos- 
sible. 

Rather stay alone, as Liebknecht did, that is, remain with the 



154 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

revolutionary proletariat, than to entertain even for a minute any 
thought of a union with the party of the Organisation Committee, 
with Chkheidze and Tsereteli, who have joined hands with Potresov 
of the Rabochaia Gazeta, who voted for the war loan 113 in the 
Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers* Deputies, and 
who have degenerated into "revolutionary defencism." 

Let the dead bury their dead. 

Whosoever wants to help vacillating souls, should first stop 
vacillating himself. 

A NAME FOR OUR PARTY WHICH WOULD BE SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND 
AND CONDUCIVE TO PROLETARIAN CLASS THINKING 

19. I am coming to the last point, the name of our party. We 
must call ourselves the Communist Party just as Marx and 
Engels called themselves Communists. 

We must insist that we are Marxists and that we have as a basis 
the Communist Manifesto, which has been perverted and betrayed 
by the Social-Democracy on two important points: (1) The workers 
have no country; "national defence" in an imperialist war is a 
betrayal of Socialism; (2) Marx's teaching about the state has 
been perverted by the Second International. 

The term "Social-Democracy" is unscientific, as Marx showed re- 
peatedly, particularly in the Critique of the Gotha Programme, in 
1875, 114 and as Engels restated in a more popular form, in 1894. 
Mankind can pass directly from capitalism only into Socialism, . e., 
into social ownership of the means of production and the distribu- 
tion of products according to the work of the individual. Our 
party looks farther ahead than that: Socialism is bound sooner 
or later to ripen into Communism, whose banner bears the motto: 
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his 
needs." 

That is the first reason. 

Here is my second: The second part of the term "Social- 
Democracy" is scientifically wrong. Democracy is only a form 
of state, while we Marxists are opposed to every form of state. 

The leaders of the Second International (1889-1914), Messrs. 
Plekhanov, Kautsky and their ilk, perverted and debased Marxism. 

The difference between Marxism and Anarchism is that Marxism 
admits the necessity of the state during the transition from capitalism 
to Socialism; but (and here is where we differ from Kautsky and 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 155 

Co.) not the kind of state found in the usual, parliamentary, bour- 
geois, democratic republic, but rather something like the Paris 
Commune of 1871 and the Soviets of Workers' Deputies of 1905 
and 1917. 

There is a third reason: Life and the revolution have already 
established here in a concrete way (although in a form which is 
still weak and embryonic), this new type of "state," though it 
is not really a state in the proper sense of the word. 

It is now a question of the action of the masses and not merely 
of theories of leaders. 

Essentially the state is the power exercised over the masses by 
a group of armed men separated from the people. 

Our new state, which is now in process of being born, is also a 
real state, for we, too, need detachments of armed men; we, too, 
need the strictest order, and the ruthless crushing of all attempts 
at a tsarist as well as a Guchkov-bourgeois counter-revolution. 

But our forming, new state is not yet a state in the proper 
sense of the word, for the detachments of armed men found in many 
parts of Russia are really the masses themselves, the people, and 
not simply privileged individuals, practically unremovable, placed 
above and separated from the people. 

*We ought to look forward, not backward; we ought to look away 
from the usual bourgeois type of democracy which has been 
strengthening the domination of the bourgeoisie by means of the 
old, monarchistic organs of government, the police, the army, and 
the bureaucracy. 

We must look forward to the advent of the newly born democracy, 
which is already ceasing to be a democracy, for democracy means 
the people's rule, while, obviously, an armed people could not 
rule over itself. 

The word democracy is not only not scientific when applied to 
the Communist Party, but, since March, 1917, it has simply become 
a blinker placed upon the eyes of the revolutionary people, pre- 
venting the latter from establishing boldly, freely, and on its own 
initiative a new form of power: the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', 
etc., Deputies, as the sole power in the state and as the harbinger 
of the "withering away" of the state as such. 

There is a fourth reason: We must take into account the objective 
international condition of Socialism. 

Its condition is no longer what it was between the years 1871 



156 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

and 1914, when Marx and Engels consciously allowed the inac- 
curate, opportunist term "Social-Democracy." For history proved 
that what was most needed in those days, i. e., right after the de- 
feat of the Paris Commune, was slow work of organisation and 
enlightenment. Nothing else was possible. The Anarchists were 
then, as they are now, theoretically, economically, and politically 
wrong. The Anarchists made a wrong estimate of the time, for 
they did not understand the world situation : the worker of England 
corrupted by imperialist profits; the Paris Commune destroyed; the 
bourgeois-national movement in Germany flushed with recent vic- 
tory; and semi-feudal Russia still sleeping the sleep of centuries. 

Marx and Engels gauged the hour accurately; they understood 
the international situation; they realised the need of a slow ap- 
proach toward the beginning of the Social Revolution. 

We, in turn, must understand the peculiarities and the tasks 
of the new epoch. Let us not imitate the woe-Marxians of whom 
Marx himself said: "I sowed dragons and I reaped fleas.'* * 

The objective needs of capitalism which has grown into im- 
perialism have brought forth the imperialist war. This war has 
brought mankind to the brink of a precipice, to the destruction of 
civilisation, the ruin and brutalisation of countless millions of 
human beings. 

There is no other way out, except a proletarian revolution. 

And just when that revolution is beginning, when it is taking 
its first awkward, timid, weak, unconscious steps, when it is 
still trusting the bourgeoisie, at that moment the majority (it is 
the truth, it is a fact) of the Social-Democratic leaders, of the 
Social-Democratic parliamentarians, of the Social-Democratic 
papers, in a word, all those who could spur the masses to action, 
or at least the majority of them, are betraying Socialism, are selling 
Socialism, are going to fight the battles of their national bour- 
geoisie. 

The masses are distracted, baffled, deceived by their leaders. 

And should we aid and abet that deception by retaining the old 
and worn-out party name, which is as decayed as the Second In- 
ternational ? 

It may be that many workers understand the meaning of Social- 
Democracy honestly. It is high time that we learn to distinguish 
between the objective and the subjective. 

*An expression which Maxx borrowed from Heine. Ed. 



TASKS OF PROLETARIAT IN OUR REVOLUTION 157 

Subjectively, these workers, who are Social-Democrats, are the 
most loyal leaders of the proletarian masses. 

Objectively, however, the world situation is such that the old 
name of our party helps to fool the masses and retard their on- 
ward march. Every day, in every paper, in every parliamentary 
group, the masses see leaders, z. e., people whose voice carries 
far, whose acts are very much in evidence, who also call them- 
selves Social-Democrats, who are "for unity" with the betrayers of 
Socialism, the social-chauvinists, and who are trying to collect on 
the notes issued by Social-Democracy. . . . 

Are there any reasons against the new name? We are told that 
one may confuse us with Anarchists-Communists. 

Why are we not afraid of being confused with the Social-Na- 
tionalists, the Social-Liberals, the Radical-Socialists, the foremost, 
the most adroit bourgeois party in the French Republic at deceiving 
the masses? We are told: "The masses have grown used to the 
name, the workers have learned to love their Social-Democratic 
Party." 

That is the only reason, but this reason goes counter to the 
teachings of Marxism, disregards the revolutionary tasks of to- 
morrow, the objective position of Socialism the world over, the 
shameful breakdown of the Second International, and the injury 
done to the cause by the pack of "also Social-Democrats" surround- 
ing the proletarians. 

This reason is based solely on laziness, somnolence, and love of 
routine. 

We want to rebuild the world. We want to end this imperialist 
World War in which hundreds of millions of people are involved 
and billions of dollars are invested, a war which cannot be ended 
in a truly democratic way without the greatest proletarian revolu- 
tion in history. 

And here we are, afraid of our own shadow. Here we are, 
keeping on our backs the same old soiled shirt. . . . 

It is high time to cast off the soiled shirt, it is high time to put 
on clean linen. 

N. LENIN. 

Petrograd, April 10, 1917. 

First published as a separate pamphlet, September, 1917, by the "Priboi" 
publishing firm. 



POLITICAL PARTIES IN RUSSIA AND THE TASKS 
OF THE PROLETARIAT 115 

THE following is an attempt to formulate, first, the more im- 
portant, and second, the less important, questions and answers 
characterising the present situation in Russia, and the attitude the 
various parties take to that situation. 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 

1. What are the chief groupings of political parties in Russia? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) Parties and groups to the right 
of the Constitutional-Democrats. 

B. (C. D.) Constitutional-Democratic Party (Cadets, the People's 
Freedom Party) and the groups close to it. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) The Social Democrats, the Socialists-Revo- 
lutionists and the groups close to them. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") The party which ought properly to be called 
the Communist Party, and which is at present named "The Russian 
Social-Democratic Labour Party, united through the Central Com- 
mittee"; or, in popular language, the "Bolsheviks." 

2. What class do these parties represent? What class standpoints 
do they express? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) The feudal landowners and the 
most backward sections of the bourgeoisie (the capitalists). 

B. (C.-D.) The bourgeoisie as a whole, that is, the capitalists, 
and those landowners who have become bourgeoisified, i. e. 9 become 
capitalists. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) Small proprietors, small and middle-sized 
peasants, petty bourgeoisie, as well as that section of the workers 
which has come under the influence of the bourgeoisie. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Class-conscious proletarians, wage workers 
and the poorest section of the peasantry (semi-proletarians) who 
are close to them. 

3. What is their relation to Socialism? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Unconditionally 

158 



POLITICAL PARTIES AND THE PROLETARIAT 159 

hostile, since it threatens the profits of capitalists and landowners. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) For Socialism, but it is too early yet to 
think of it or to take any practical steps for its realisation. 

D. ("Bolsheviks,") For Socialism. The Soviet of Workers', 
Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies must at once take every practical 
and feasible step for its realisation.* 

4. What form of government do they want now? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) Constitutional monarchy, abso- 
lute power of the bureaucracy and the police. 

B. (C.-D. ) A bourgeois parliamentary republic, i. e. 9 a strength- 
ening of the rule of the capitalists, with the old bureaucracy and 
the police retained. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) A bourgeois parliamentary republic, with 
reforms for the workers and peasants. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") A republic of the Soviets of Workers', Sol- 
diers' and Peasants' Deputies. Abolition of the standing army and 
the police; substituting for them a universally armed people; offi- 
cials to be not only elected, but also subject to recall; their pay not 
to exceed that of a skilled worker. 

5. What is their attitude to the restoration of the Romanov mon- 
archy? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) In favour, but they act with cau- 
tion and secrecy, for they are afraid of the people. 

B. (C.-D.) When the Guchkovs seemed to be a power, the Cadets 
were in favour of putting on the throne a brother or the son of 
Nicholas, but when the people began to seem a power, the Cadets 
became anti-monarchists. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R) and D. ("Bolsheviks.") Unconditionally 
opposed to any kind of monarchist restoration. 

6. What do they think of seizure of power? What do they re- 
gard as order 9 and what as anarchy? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) If a Tsar or a brave general 
seizes power, his authority comes from God; that is order. Any- 
thing else is anarchy. 

B. (C.-D.) If the capitalists seize power, though by force, that 
is order; to seize power against the will of the capitalists would be 
anarchy. 

* For the nature of these steps, see questions 20 and 22, 



160 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) If the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', etc., 
Deputies alone seize power, anarchy threatens. For the present 
let the capitalists retain power, while the Soviets of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies have a "Contact Commission." 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") All power must be in the hands of the 
Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', Peasants', Agricultural Labourers', 
etc., Deputies. The entire propaganda, agitation and organisation 
of millions upon millions of people must at once be directed toward 
this end.* 

7. Shall the Provisional Government be supported? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Unquestionably, 
since it is the only means at this moment of guarding the interests 
of the capitalists. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) Yes, but under the condition that it should 
carry out its agreement with the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies and participate at the meetings of the "Contact Com- 
mission." 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") No; let the capitalists support it. We must 
prepare the whole people for the absolute concentration of all power 
in the hands of the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', etc., Deputies. 

8. For single or dual power? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) For sole power 
in the hands of the capitalists and landowners. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) For dual power. The Soviets of Workers' 
and Soldiers* Deputies to exercise "control" over the Provisional 
Government. But it is harmful to think that control is impossible 
without power. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") For sole power in the hands of the Soviets 
of Workers', Soldiers', etc., Deputies from top to bottom over the 
whole country. 

9. Shall a Constituent Assembly be called? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) Not necessary, for it might in- 
jure the landowners. Who knows, the peasants at the Constituent 
Assembly may decide to take away the land of the landowners. 

B. (C.-D.) Yes, but without stipulation of time. Prolonged 
consultation with professors of jurisprudence; first, because, as 

* Anarchy is a complete negation of state power, whereas the Soviets of 
Workers*, Soldiers', and Peasants* Deputies are also state power. 



POLITICAL PARTIES AND THE PROLETARIAT 161 

Bebel has already pointed out, jurists are the most reactionary peo- 
ple in the world; and second, because the experience of all revolu- 
tions shows that the cause of the people is lost when it is entrusted 
to professors. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) Yes, and as soon as possible. The date 
must be designated; we have already discussed it at the meetings of 
the "Contact Commission" 200 times and shall speak about it 
finally at our 201st discussion to-morrow. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Yes, and as soon as possible. Yet, to make 
it successful and to have it convoked, one condition is necessary: 
increase the number and strengthen the power of the Soviets of 
Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants', etc., Deputies; organise and arm 
the masses. Only thus can the Assembly be assured. 

10. Does the state need a police of the usual type and a standing 
army? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Absolutely, for 
this is the only permanent guarantee of the rule of capital; in case 
of necessity, as shown by the experience of all countries, the return 
from republic to monarchy is thus greatly facilitated. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) On the one hand, they may not be neces- 
sary. On the other hand, is not so radical a change premature? 
However, we shall discuss it in the "Contact Commission." 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Absolutely unnecessary. Immediately and 
unconditionally introduce universal arming of the people, merge 
them with the militia and the army. Capitalists must pay the 
workers for days of service in the militia. 

11. Does the state need an officialdom of the usual type? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Unquestionably. 
Nina-tenths of the officials are sons and brothers of the landowners 
and capitalists. They should continue to form a privileged, in fact 
an unremovable, body of persons. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) This is hardly the proper time to put a 
question which was practically put by the Paris Commune. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Absolutely not. All officials must not only 
be elected by the people, but each and every official and Deputy 
must at all times be subject to the people's recall. Their pay shall 
not exceed that of an experienced worker. They are gradually to 
be replaced by the national militia and its various divisions. 



162 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

12. Must officers be elected by the soldiers? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) No, it would be 
harmful for the landowners and capitalists. If the soldiers can- 
not otherwise be appeased, one must promise them this reform and 
afterwards take it away from them. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) Yes. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Not only must they be elected, but every 
step of every officer and general must be subject to control by 
special soldiers' committees. 

13. Are arbitrary removals of superiors by the soldiers desirable?, 
A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Absolutely harm- 
ful. Guchkov has already forbidden them, even threatening with 
the use of force. We must support Guchkov. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) Useful, but it remains to be decided 
whether they must be removed before or after consulting the 
Contact Commission. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") They are in every respect useful and in- 
dispensable. The soldiers will obey only superiors of their own 
choice; they can respect no others. 

14. In favour of this war or against it? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Unquestionably 
in favour, for it brings unheard-of profits to the capitalists and 
promises to perpetuate their rule, thanks to disunity among the 
workers, who are egged on against each other. The workers must 
be deceived by calling the war a war for national defence, with 
the special object of dethroning Wilhelm. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) In general, we are opposed to imperialist 
wars, but we are willing to permit ourselves to be fooled, and to 
call "revolutionary defencism" the support of an imperialist war 
waged by the imperialist government of Guchkov, Miliukov and 
Co. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Absolutely opposed to all imperialist wars, 
to all bourgeois governments which wage them, among them our 
own Provisional Government; absolutely opposed to "revolutionary 
defencism" in Russia. 

15. Are they in favour of or against the predatory international 
treaties concluded between the Tsar and England, France* etc. 



POLITICAL PARTIES AND THE PROLETARIAT 163 

(for the strangling of Persia, the division of China, Turkey, Austria, 
etc.) ? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Absolutely in 
favour. At the same time we must not think of publishing these 
treaties, because it is neither permitted by Anglo-French imperialist 
capital and its governments, nor desired by Russian capital which 
cannot afford to reveal to the people all its filthy machinations. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) Against, but we still hope that the Contacl 
Commission, aided by a series of simultaneous "campaigns" among 
the masses, may "influence" the capitalist government. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Against. Our whole task is simply this: 
To enlighten the masses as to the utter hopelessness of expecting 
anything in this connection from capitalist governments, and the 
necessity of centring all power in the hands of the proletariat and 
the poorest peasants. 

16. In favour of or against annexations? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) If the annexa- 
tions are accomplished by the German capitalists and their robber 
chieftain, Wilhelm, we are opposed to them. If by the English, we 
are not opposed, for they are "our" allies. If by our capitalists, 
who forcibly retain within the boundaries of Russia the peoples 
oppressed by the Tsar, then we are in favour, we do not call this 
annexation. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) Against annexations, but we hope it may be 
possible to obtain even from the capitalist government a "promise" 
to renounce annexations. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Against annexations. Any promise of a 
capitalist government to renounce annexations is sheer fraud. It is 
very simple to expose it: just demand that each people be freed 
from the yoke of its own capitalists. 

17. In favour of or against the "Liberty Loan"? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Entirely in 
favour, for it facilitates the waging of an imperialist war, that is, a 
war to determine which group of capitalists shall rule the world. 

C. (S,-D. and S.-R.) In favour, for our incorrect attitude on 
"revolutionary defencism" forces us into this obvious defection from 
the cause of internationalism. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Against, for the war remains imperialist; 



164 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

it is being waged by capitalists in alliance with capitalists and in 
the interest of capitalists. 

18. Shall we leave to capitalist governments the task of manifest- 
ing the people's will to peace, or shall we not? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) We shall, for 
the experience of the social-chauvinists of the French Republic 
shows best how people may be deceived by such a process: say 
anything you please, but in reality retain all conquests we have 
made from the Germans (their colonies) and take away from the 
Germans all conquests made by those robbers. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) We shall, since we have not yet re- 
linquished all the unfounded hopes which the petty bourgeoisie 
attaches to the capitalists. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") We shall not, for the class-conscious worker 
puts no hopes whatever in the capitalists, and it is our function to 
enlighten the masses as to the baselessness of such hopes. 

19. Must all monarchies be abolished? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) No, certainly not 
the English, Italian and Allied monarchies, only the German, Aus- 
trian, Turkish, and Bulgarian, for victory over them will increase 
our profits tenfold. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) A certain "order" must be followed and 
a beginning made with Wilhelm; we may wait a bit with the Allied 
monarchies. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Revolutions do not proceed in a fixed order. 
We must assist only those who are revolutionists in deeds, and we 
must dethrone all monarchs in all countries without exception. 

20. Shall the peasants at once take all the land of the land' 
owners? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) By no means. 
We must wait for the Constituent Assembly. Shingarev has already 
pointed out that when the capitalists take away the power from 
the Tsar, that is a great and glorious revolution, but when the 
peasants take away the land from the landowners, that is arbi- 
trary rule. Commissions of conciliation must be appointed, with 
equal representation of landowners and peasants, and the chair- 
man shall be from the officialdom, that is, from among the same 
capitalists and landowners. 116 



POLITICAL PARTIES AND THE PROLETARIAT 165 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) It would be better for the peasants to 
wait for the Constituent Assembly. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") All the land must be taken at once. Order 
must be strictly maintained by the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies. 
The production of bread and meat must be increased, the soldiers 
better fed. Injury to live stock, tools, etc., is absolutely not per- 
missible* 

21. Shall we limit ourselves solely to Soviets of Peasants 9 Depu- 
ties for the management of lands and for all village affairs in 
general? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) The landowners 
and capitalists are entirely opposed to absolute concentration of 
power in the hands of the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies in the 
villages. But if these Soviets are unavoidable, they say, we must 
confine ourselves to them alone, for, after all, the rich peasant 
is also a capitalist. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) We might for the present confine ourselves 
to the Soviets, although the Social-Democrats "in principle" do 
not deny the necessity of a separate organisation for the agricultural 
wage workers. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") It will be impossible to confine ourselves 
only to general Soviets of Peasants* Deputies, for the wealthy 
peasants are of the same capitalist class that is always inclined 
to injure or deceive the agricultural workers, the day labourers, and 
the poorer peasants. We must at once form special organisations 
of these latter groups of the village population both within the 
Soviets of Peasants' Deputies and in the form of special Soviets 
of Deputies of the agricultural workers. 

22. Shall the people take into their hands the largest and most 
powerful monopolistic organisations of capitalism 9 the banks, the 
syndicates of manufacture^ etc.? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Not by any means, 
since that might injure the landowners and capitalists. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) Generally speaking, we are in favour of 
such organisations' passing into the hands of the entire people, but 
to think of or prepare for this condition now is very untimely. 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") We must at once prepare the Soviets of 
Workers' Deputies, the Soviets of Deputies of Banking Employes 



166 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

and others for the task of, first, taking all feasible and completely 
realisable steps toward merging all banks into one single national 
bank, then towards control by the Soviets of Workers' Deputies 
over the banks and syndicates, and then toward their nationalisa- 
tion, that is, their passing over into the possession of the whole 
people. 

23. What form of Socialist International, establishing and realis- 
ing a brotherly union of all the workers in all countries, is now 
needed for the people? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) Generally speak- 
ing, any kind of Socialist International is harmful and dangerous 
to capitalists and landowners, but if the German Plekhanov, i. e. 9 
Scheidemann, will come to an agreement with the Russian Scheide- 
mann, i. e., Plekhanov, and if they detect in each other vestiges of 
Socialist conscience, then we, the capitalists, must hail such an 
International, of such Socialists, who stand on the side of their 
respective governments. 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) A Socialist International is needed that 
will include all elements: the Scheidemanns, the Plekhanovs and 
the "centrists," L e. 9 those who vacillate between social-chauvinism 
and internationalism. The bigger the mix-up, the greater the 
"unity": long live our great Socialist unity! 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") The peoples need only such an International 
as unites really revolutionary workers capable of putting an 
end to the awful and criminal slaughter, capable of delivering 
humanity from the yoke of capitalism. Only men (groups, parties, 
etc.) like the German Socialist Karl Liebknecht, now in prison, only 
people who will tirelessly struggle against their own government, 
their own bourgeoisie, their own social-chauvinists, and their own 
"centre," can and must immediately establish that International 
which is necessary for the peoples. 

24. Must fraternisation between soldiers of the warring conn* 
tries, at the front, be encouraged? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) and B. (C.-D.) No, it is bad 
for the interests of the landowners and capitalists, since it may 
accelerate the liberation of humanity from their yoke, 

C. (S.-D. and S.-R.) Yes, it would be good. But we are not 
fully convinced that such an encouragement of fraternisation 
should be at once undertaken in all warring countries. 



POLITICAL PARTIES AND THE PROLETARIAT 167 

D. ("Bolsheviks.") Yes, it is good and indispensable. It is 
absolutely necessary in all warring countries to encourage all at- 
tempts at fraternisation between the soldiers of both warring groups. 

25. What colour of the flag would fit the character of the various 
political parties? 

A. (To the right of the C.-D.) Black, for these are the real 
Black Hundreds. 

B. (C.-D.) Yellow, for that is the international banner of those 
who serve capital through choice and not by compulsion. 

C, (S.-D. and S.-R.) Pink, for their whole policy is a rosewater 
policy. 

D, ("Bolsheviks.") Red, for that is the emblem of the interna- 
tional proletarian revolution. 

This pamphlet was written at the beginning of April, 1917. As 
to whether it has grown out of date after May 6, 1917, after the 
forming of the "new" coalition government, my answer is: No, for 
the Contact Commission has not really disappeared, it has simply 
moved to another chamber, shared with the gentlemen of the 
cabinet. The fact that the Chernovs and the Tseretelis have moved 
into another chamber has not changed either their own policy nor 
the policy of their parties. 

First published as a separate pamphlet in July, 1917, by the "Zhizn i 
Znanie" publishing firm. 



SPEECH DELIVERED AT A MEETING OF SOLDIERS OF THE 
IZMAILOV REGIMENT 

YESTERDAY Comrade Zinoviev and I spoke at a meeting of the 
Izmailov Regiment, after an agitator from the Petrograd Committee 
had spoken. I said the following: 

Comrades, Soldiers! The question of the state system is now on 
the order of the day. The capitalists, in whose hands the state 
power now rests, desire a parliamentary bourgeois republic, i. e., a 
state system in which there is no Tsar, but in which power remains 
in the hands of the capitalists who govern the country by means of 
the old institutions, namely: the police, the bureaucrats, the standing 
army. 

We desire a different republic, far more suited to the interests 
of the people, far more democratic. The revolutionary workers and 
soldiers of Petrograd have overthrown tsarism, and have cleaned 
out all the police from the capital. The workers of all the world 
look with pride and hope at the revolutionary workers and soldiers 
of Russia as the vanguard of the universal liberating army of 
the working class. Having begun the revolution, it is necessary 
to strengthen and continue it. We must not permit them to re- 
establish the police! All power in the state, from top to bottom, 
from the remotest village to the last street in the City of Petrograd 
must belong to the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', Agricultural La- 
bourers', and Peasants' Deputies. The central state power must 
be united in these local Soviets whether you call them a Con- 
stituent Assembly or a National Assembly, or a Congress of Soviets, 
the name does not matter. 

There must be no police; no bureaucrats, who have no responsi- 
bility to the people, who stand over the people; no standing army, 
cut off from the people, but only the people, universally armed, 
united in the Soviets it is they who must run the state. It is they 
who must establish the necessary order, it is they whose authority 
will not only be obeyed, but also respected, by workers and 
peasants. 

163 



SPEECH TO IZMAILOV REGIMENT 169 

Only this power, only the Soviets of Soldiers' and Workers* 
Deputies, can not in the interests of the landowners, nor in the 
bureaucratic manner solve the great question of land. The land 
must not belong to the feudal owners. The land must he taken 
away from the landowners at once by the peasant committees; they 
must carefully guard all the inventory against harm, and must see 
to it that the raising of grain is increased in order that the soldiers 
at the front may be better supplied. All the land must belong to the 
whole people, and this consummation must be realised by the local 
Soviets of Peasants' Deputies. In order that the rich peasants 
themselves capitalists may not injure and hoodwink the agricul- 
tural labourers and the poorest peasants, it will be necessary for 
the latter either to have their own conferences, to combine, to unite 
separately, or to form their own Soviets of Agricultural Labourers' 
Deputies. 

Do not permit the police to be re-established; do not permit the 
state power or the control over the government to pass into the hands 
of bourgeois officeholders not chosen by election, and irremovable, 
and paid on a bourgeois scale; unite yourselves, weld yourselves 
firmly together, organise yourselves, trusting no one, depending 
only on your own intelligence and experience; and Russia will be 
able to move with firm, measured, unerring steps toward the libera- 
tion both of our own country and of all humanity from the yoke 
of capital as well as from the horrors of war. Our government, a 
government of capitalists, is continuing the war by reason of 
capitalist interests. Like the German capitalists, headed by their 
crowned murderer Wilhelm, the capitalists of all the other coun- 
tries are waging a war only for a division of the profits of the 
capitalists, for world rule. Hundreds of millions of people, almost 
all the countries of the earth, have been dragged into this criminal 
war. Hundreds of billions of capital have been invested in "profit- 
able" concerns, bringing to the peoples death, hunger, ruin, bar- 
barism, and to capital scandalously high, insane profits. In order 
to free ourselves from this frightful war, and to conclude a truly 
democratic peace not based on force, there is only one possible way: 
the transfer of all the state power to the hands of the Soviets of 
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. The workers and the poorest 
peasants, who are not interested in the preservation of the profits 
of capitalism, in the conquest of weaker peoples, will be able truly 



170 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

to bring about that which the capitalists merely blabber about 
namely, a conclusion of the war with a lasting peace which will 
assure liberty to all peoples without exception. 

N. LENIN. 

Prctvda, No. 30, April 25, 1917. 



A SHAMELESS LIE OF THE CAPITALISTS 

IT seems insufficient for the capitalists that their papers lie and 
carry on a pogrom agitation against the Pravda, that the Riech vies 
in this respect with the very Russkaia Volia, which it cannot help 
but despise. The Ministers of the capitalist government have now 
adopted the language of the Russkaia Volia. The Riech quotes to- 
day Minister Nekrasov's statement made before a meeting of the 
Cadet party in Moscow on April 9: 

"The preaching of violence that comes from the Kamenno-ostrov- 
sky Prospect is terrible." 117 

The worthy Minister, in imitation of the Russkaia Volia, lies 
shamelessly, deceives the people, aids the pogrom makers while 
hiding behind their backs and dares not name directly even one 
person, one newspaper, one orator, or one party. 

The worthy Minister prefers dark insinuations hoping that 
people will fall for that! 

But all politically minded people will understand that the worthy 
Minister refers to the organ of the Central Committee of the R. S.- 
D. L. P., the Pravda, and its followers. 

Mr. Minister, worthy member of the "People's Freedom Party," 
you are lying. It is Mr. Guchkov who preaches violence when 
he threatens to punish the soldiers for removing the authorities. 
It is the Russkaia Volia, the pogrom newspaper of the pogrom 
"republicans" and friendly to you, that preaches violence. 

The Pravda and its followers do not preach violence. On the 
contrary, they declare most clearly, precisely, and definitely, that 
our main work should at present be concentrated on explaining to 
the proletarian masses their proletarian problems, as distinguished 
from the problems of the petty bourgeoisie which has succumbed 
to chauvinist poison. 

While you, Messrs, capitalists, Guchkov and Co., confine your- 
selves to mere threats of violence, while you have not yet resorted 
to violence, while the Soviets of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies 
still exist, while you have not yet carried out your threats against 
the Soviets (such threats, for example, have actually been printed 

171 



172 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

by Mr, Miliukov's co-worker, Mr. Wilson, the correspondent of 
the Times) 9 while you do not yet perpetrate violence upon the 
masses, we, the Pravdists, declare and reiterate that we regard 
the Soviets as the only possible form of government. 

While you, Messrs, capitalists, who are in control of the army 
command, have not yet begun practicing violence, we, the Prav- 
dists, we of the party, confine ourselves to the struggle for in- 
fluence among the proletarian masses, the struggle for influence 
among the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, to exposing 
the errors in their tactics, to exposing the deceptiveness of the 
chauvinist (revolutionary-defencist) poison gas. 

The worthy Minister Nekrasov knows it quite well, he could 
learn it from the very quotations which the Riech was forced to 
print. The worthy Minister imitates the Russkaia Volia; he is in- 
tent on preventing a peaceful elucidation of the truth by resorting 
to lies, calumny, baiting, and threats of pogroms. 

This won't work, Messrs. Nekrasovs, this won't work! 

The workers and the soldiers are determined to know the truth, 
are determined to gain an insight into the problems of war, peace, 
and state systems, and they certainly will begin to do so. 

Pravda, No. 30, April 25, 1917. 



THE WAR AND THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT 

. . . "We have nevertheless compelled the Provisional Government to re- 
nounce annexations. From a speech by U. Steklov, delivered at the 
Tauride Palace on April 4. 

. , . "Whatever our attitude towards the slogan, "peace -without annexa- 
tions,'* it is impossible to ignore the principles accepted by all the 
allies. . . . From a speech by P. Miliukov, Riech, April 24. 

STEP by step the leaders of the Provisional Government are 
revealing the real nature of their policy with respect to the war. 
Already the notorious declaration of the Provisional Government 118 
contained, along with a verbal "renunciation" of annexations, a 
statement that "our" treaties with the English and the French gov- 
ernments remain in force. A few weeks later the Riech, organ of 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Miliukov, prints the following: 

MILIUKOV'S STATEMENT 

While in Moscow, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, P. N. Miliukov, made 
the following statement at a meeting of members of the People's Freedom 
Party: 

The declaration of the Provisional Government concerning the aims of 
the war contains not peace terms, but general principles repeatedly enunciated 
in the past by various statesmen of our allies. The peace terms can be 
worked out only with the consent of our allies and in accordance with the 
London Agreement. 119 Whatever our attitude toward the slogan, "peace with- 
out annexations," it is impossible to ignore the principles accepted by all 
the Allies concerning the unification of Poland, Armenia, and the gratifica- 
tion of the national aspirations of the Austrian Slavs. Riech, No. 83, April 
24, 1917. 

This statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miliukov, will, 
no doubt, be reprinted in all the foreign press and will strengthen 
the military spirit in Germany. Miliukov helps the German im- 
perialists to inflame chauvinist feeling in Germany; Miliukov helps 
Wilhelm II to carry on this predatory war "to the end." 

Let us analyse Mr. Miliukov's statement. The declaration of the 
Provisional Government concerning the aims of the war (the same 
declaration which U. Steklov, owing to a deplorable misunder- 
standing, mistook for a renunciation of the policy of annexations) 
contains, says Miliukov, not peace terms, but merely "general prin- 

173 



174 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

ciples repeatedly enunciated in the past by various statesmen 
of our allies." Translated into ordinary language, this means: 
The renunciation of annexations is merely a fine phrase; "general 
principles," words, words, words. These words have been repeated 
ad nauseam by "our" allies. The actual "peace" terms, however, 
are an entirely different matter. 

A statesman, Bismarck, if I am not mistaken, once said: To ac- 
cept "in principle" means in the language of diplomacy to reject 
in actuality. It is the same with Miliukov. "In principle" he is 
against annexations, in actuality he is for annexations. That is why 
he insists on war "to the end." 

Fine phrases are not yet peace terms, Mr. Miliukov declares. 
What, then, are his peace terms? 

These terms are provided by the London Agreement. Mr. Miliu- 
kov refers us to it. 

But who concluded that Agreement? Tsar Nicholas II concluded 
it with the English and French capitalists! That means that the 
treaties concluded by the Tsar's clique are to remain in force. That 
means that we are fighting for the sake of those predatory treaties 
concluded by the Tsar's clique and the "Allied" bankers. 

Seizure of Polish, Armenian, and Austrian territories (this time 
Mr. Miliukov omitted to mention Constantinople) this is what 
Mr. Miliukov's peace programme reduces itself to. 

What will the leaders of the majority of the Soviet of Workers' 
Deputies say regarding this last statement of the Minister of For- 
eign Affairs, Miliukov? They will confine themselves to making 
an "animadversion" upon Miliukov's statement in the name of die 
"Contact Commission." . . . What has become of the "Provisional 
Government's promise to renounce annexations," which U. Steklov 
and N. Chkheidze claim to have succeeded in obtaining from it? 

There is no dual power in Russia. The Soviet of Workers* 
Deputies merely exercises a benevolent control over the Provisional 
Government. Thus maintained, if we should believe newspaper re- 
ports, N. Chkheidze, at the military conference in Minsk. 12 

This is what we have come to with this benevolent control! 
Russia's spokesmen are people who continue to encourage war. 
The workers and soldiers are fed on general phrases about peace 
without annexations, while secretly a policy is being carried out 
which benefits only a small clique of millionaires who thrive on 
war. 



THE WAR AND THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT 175 

Comrades, workers, and soldiers! Read this statement of Miliu- 
kov and expose it at all your meetings! Make it understood that 
you do not wish to die for the sake of secret treaties concluded 
by Tsar Nicholas II, and still sacred to Miliukov! 

Pravda, No. 31, April 26, 1917. 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE RUSSKAIA VOLIA 

THE methods of the Russkaia Volia, a paper from which even 
the Cadets turn away with disgust, find an increasing number of 
imitators. Behold Mr. Plekhanov's Yedinstvo. Intent on "expos- 
ing" the Pravda, Mr. Plekhanov takes Lenin's first thesis, quotes that 
part of it which asserts that as far as Russia is concerned the war 
remains predatory and imperialist, and then triumphantly asks: 
"And how about Germany? Lenin says nothing about that." 121 
So, exactly so. One reads, and doesn't believe his eyes. Has 
Mr. Plekhanov actually stooped to the level of the Novoie Vremia 
and the Russkaia Volia? Incredible, but the facts stare one in the 
face. 

Mr. Plekhanov's shamelessness exceeds all bounds. He knows 
thoroughly the Bolshevik literature published abroad. He knows 
perfectly well that all Bolsheviks, without exception, have always, 
in their speeches, in their articles, and in their resolutions, main- 
tained that the war on the part of Germany was just as predatory 
and imperialist as on the part of the other warring "great" nations. 
The German capitalists, and their chief, the crowned murderer Wil- 
helm, are imperialist plunderers no less than the capitalists of other 
countries. 

We repeat: no literate person who is in the least familiar with the 
views of the Bolsheviks can help knowing our attitude in this mat- 
ter. Mr. Plekhanov, too, knows it quite well. He knows that 
Zinoviev and Lenin's pamphlet, Socialism and the War, was pub- 
lished in Switzerland in the German language, and was smuggled 
into Germany. In that pamphlet it is clearly stated that Germany 
is carrying on a predatory war for the purpose of "robbing the 
countries that are competing with it," that Germany is " young and 
powerful brigand," that "the German imperialists have shamefully 
violated the neutrality of Belgium, as have warring nations always 
and everywhere, trampling, as they do, upon all treaties and 
obligations when necessary"; that "Kautsky combines in an un- 
principled way the main idea of social-chauvinism, namely, na- 
tional defence in the present war, with a seeming concession to the 

176 



IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE RUSSKAIA VOLIA 177 

Lefts"; that "nowhere have the opportunist-chauvinists reached such 
a low level of abasement and treason as in Germany." 

Mr. Plekhanov knows all this, yet he stoops to the methods of the 
Novoie Vremia and the Russkaia Volia, and tries to paint the fol- 
lowers of the Pravda as Germanophiles. Making a mockery of 
Marxism, Mr. Plekhanov further quibbles over the question as to 
who began the war. 

Mr. Plekhanov has forgotten that Marxists regard war as a con- 
tinuation of politics conducted by certain governments representing 
certain classes. That both Nicholas II and Wilhelm II represented 
the reactionary and capitalist classes of their respective countries, 
that during the last few decades both had been pursuing a policy 
of robbing foreign countries, pillaging China, stifling Persia, cut- 
ting up and partitioning Turkey, is a well-known fact. Had Mr. 
Plekhanov studied (even in a superficial manner) the history of 
diplomacy and foreign policies of the last few decades, he could 
not have failed to observe it, and he would not have dared to deny it. 

And it is precisely this predatory and imperialist policy, so 
closely bound up with the banking capital of the two countries that 
Nicholas II and Wilhelm II have followed in the present war. 

When war is waged by two opposing groups of looters and op- 
pressors merely for the robbers' booty, merely to decide as to who 
shall have a better chance to stifle more peoples, to grab more, 
then the question as to who began this war, who was the first to 
declare it and so forth, is of no economic or political importance. 

Mr. Plekhanov has descended, just as have the German Ple- 
khanovs, the Scheidemanns and Co., to the level of the most vulgar 
and mediocre bourgeois chauvinist who refuses to see (or who 
never did see) that war is a continuation of politics, that war and 
politics are bound up with the interests of certain classes, and that 
one must be able to analyse which classes are fighting and for 
what they are fighting. 

A rabid, brazen lie, a shielding of the predatory policy of 
Nicholas II a policy which has not been changed by Lvov and Co. 
(they have even confirmed the Tsar's treaties!), this is the whole 
of Mr. Plekhanov's great wisdom. 

This lie will mislead neither the class-conscious workers nor 
the class-conscious soldiers. 

Pravda, No. 31, April 26, 1917. 



A LEAGUE OF FALSEHOOD 

ONE of the methods which the bourgeois press of every country 
employs with unerring effect is this they lie, they scream, they 
clamour, they reiterate falsehoods persistently "something may 
stick," they hope. 

"Lenin vociferates in Kshesinskaia's palace for all he is worth," 
writes the Riech. "Lenin addresses a gathering from the roof of 
the Modern" 122 report a number of newspapers. 

And all of this is untrue. Lenin was not present at the Modern 
meeting. Lenin has not vociferated, for so far he has read only one 
report before a gathering of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, 123 and pub- 
lished a series of short articles in the small newspaper Pravda. 

It is the capitalists and the capitalist press who are vociferating 
for all they are worth, who are trying to drown the truth, to pre- 
vent it from being heard, to drown it in a torrent of vituperation 
and abuse, to prevent an earnest elucidation of the facts. 

This is the true aim of all the efforts of the capitalists at the 
present moment as well as of those woe-Socialists who, like Mr. 
Plekhanov, have completely deserted to the capitalist side. 

In to-day's editorial, meant to be of "especial national im- 
portance," the Riech again fulminates against the "preaching of 
anarchy," and while doing so, most strikingly confutes itself. This 
is clear to any one who ponders the things he reads. 

". . . The great revolution has completely swept away the old 
organisation of power. . . ." Untrue. Not completely, far from it. 
"It can be restored only by a change in the people's psychology (in 
a broad sense of the word) , or rather, by a new psychology which 
recognises the necessity of power and the duty of submission." 

Here you have before you a manifest lie, an obvious league of 
falsehood entered into by the capitalists, on the one hand, and the 
Plekhanovs, the Cherevanins and Co., who are shouting about an- 
archy, on the other. 

In science as well as in practical and every-day conversation 
it is accepted without debate that Anarchism means the negation 
of the state for the transition period from capitalism to Socialism* 

178 



A LEAGUE OF FALSEHOOD 179 

That Socialism leads to the "withering away" of the state is one 
of the tenets of Marxism. The Miliukovs, the Plekhanovs, the 
Cherevanins and the others, united in falsehood, know it quite well. 

Do the Pravdists and Lenin deny the necessity of the state now? 
Do they deny the necessity of an "organisation of power," the "duty 
of submission" to it? 

All literate people, with the exception of the league of liars, 
know perfectly well that they do not 

Both the Pravda and Lenin have stated most clearly and re- 
peatedly that all of us are unreservedly in favour of the existence 
of the state and of an organisation of power not only for the time 
being, but also during the coming historic period when the transi- 
tion from capitalism to Socialism will take place. 

Only the league of falsehood can deny it, or fail to see it. 

The question is what "organisation of power" we propose to the 
people? 

Not the old organisation of power, not the police, not the bu- 
reaucracy, not the standing army, but a new organisation The 
Soviets of Workers 9 , Soldiers', Peasants 9 , etc., Deputies. 

Such Soviets already exist, having been brought forth by the revo- 
lution, they are already recognised by every one, even by the capi- 
talist government, as a semi-government. 

And we have made it even more than clear that such Soviets are 
the only possible form our revolutionary government can assume. 

Can there be anything less ambiguous? 

Since it is the "only possible" form, it means that we must act 
through propaganda only, unless some one begins to practice 
violence upon the masses. 

"The necessity of power and the duty of submission" are recog- 
nised by all the Pravdists, and are being preached to the people. 

The Miliukovs, the Plekhanovs, the Cherevanins and Co. lie in 
order to conceal the truth from the people; lie in order to suppress 
the most important thing: the question of the class character of 
any given organisation of power. 

This is the main point. 

The capitalist regards the Soviets of Workers', etc., Deputies as 
anarchy, because such an organisation of power does not commit 
the people beforehand and unconditionally to capitalist subjection, 
but provides liberty and order together with the possibility of 
peaceful and gradual transition to Socialism. 



180 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

This and only this makes the capitalists dissatisfied, indignant, 
and angry. Hence the league of falsehood. Hence the sea of 
calumny and the howl of anger. Hence, the covert, insidious in- 
citement to pogroms to which the Riech resorts in the above-men- 
tioned editorial when it appeals to "counteraction," to "renuncia- 
tion of passivity, indifference," etc. 

If you, gentlemen, have the majority of the people with you, if 
your alliance with the Soviets is lasting (and we frankly admit that 
at the present moment the majority in the Soviets is not with us) , 
then what do you fear, gentlemen, why do you lie? 

All we want is to make clear to the workers and to the poorest 
peasants the errors of their tactics. We recognize the Soviets as the 
only possible power. We advocate the necessity of power and the 
duty of submitting to it 

Why, then, are you afraid? Why do you lie? 

It is the truth that you fear. You lie in order to suppress with 
the aid of pogrom makers, slander, violence, and filth, any chance 
of expounding the truth. 

This has been discerned even by some of our opponents. Read 
to-day's Dielo Naroda, 12 * organ of the Socialists-Revolutionists, an 
organ to which Minister Kerensky contributes. 

This is what that organ says about Plekhanov, the most trust- 
worthy ally of the Russkaia Volia and the Riech: 

". . . Such words and such methods of struggle we have been 
accustomed to see on the pages of the Russkaia Volia. To see them 
employed in articles written by Socialists is, frankly speaking, pain- 
ful and depressing. . . ." 

Thus write our opponents. 

Thus write democrats whose democratic conscience has been 
twakened. 

To shame the Miliukovs, the Plekhanovs and the Cherevanins is 
a hopeless task. But when even a newspaper to which Kerensky 
is a contributor turns with disgust from the madly chauvinistic, 
slanderously filthy, pogrom-inciting methods employed by Ple- 
khanov, then we may safely say: 

They are dead people, the heroes of such methods* 

Pravda, No. 32, April 27, 1917. 



BANKS AND MINISTERS 

N. POKROVSKY, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and the 
present Vice-Chairman of the War Industries Central Committee* 
has become a member of the board of the Russian Bank for 
Foreign Commerce. Count V, N. Kokovtsev, the former Chairman 
of the Council of Ministers, is also to become a member of the 
board. 

These happy tidings were brought to us by last night's papers. 

A Minister to-day, a banker to-morrow; a banker to-day, a Min- 
ister to-morrow. But for "war to the end" both to-day and to- 
morrow. 

This state of affairs prevails not only in Russia, but also in every 
other country where capital rules. The war is enriching a handful 
of bankers who have the whole world in their grip. 

We may b^tbld that Pokrovsky and Kokovtsev were Ministers 
during the old regime, and that we are now living in a regenerated 



We will answer with a question: 

And what about the present Ministers, Guchkov, Tereshcheriko, 
and Konovalov; in how many banks are they interested as directors, 
shareholders^ or actual owners? 

Those of our comrades who are bank employes (who, by the way, 
should organise a union of their own as soon as possible) would 
do well to gather material on this subject and publish it in the 
labour press. 

Pmda, No. 32, April 27, 1917. 



181 



AN IMPORTANT EXPOSE 

IN to-day's editorial of the Dielo Naroda, a newspaper with which 
Minister Kerensky, we are told, is very closely associated, we read 
the direct statement that "according to information received by us, 
the Dielo Naroda, from people whom we consider adequately compe- 
tent in this matter, the above-mentioned note" (namely, the note 
pertaining to the renunciation of the policy of annexations and 
indemnities) "has not yet been sent." 125 

Thus, members and adherents of the Soviet of Workers' and Sol- 
diers* Deputies who say and think that "we have forced the govern- 
ment to renounce annexations" are mistaken. 

Comrades and citizens! Read and reread the above-quoted state- 
ment of the Dielo Naroda, ponder its meaning! 

The editorial further says: 

And here Mr. Guchkov, echoing the opinion of his bellicose colleague in the 
Palace Square who covets and lusts after Constantinople and the Straits, in his 
appeal to the army on the Rumanian front, is hurling slogans ahout the need 
4 of completely smashing Germany and Austria. . . . 

If the Dielo Naroda knows that Miliukov covets and lusts after 
annexations, then why not tell us a little more about it? Does not 
the people's cause require that the People's Cause * speak more 
clearly and more frankly? 

The editorial closes by calling attention to the "militarist group 
in our Provisional Government." 

Once more: Does not the people's cause require that the People's 
Cause make known names and facts, facts and names? 

Pravda, No. 32, April 27, 1917. 

* A play on words: Dielo Naroda means the people's cause.: Ed. 



182 



TO THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS 126 

COMRADES, Soldiers! Comrades, Sailors! 

The capitalist newspapers, from the Riech down to the Russkaia 
Volia, are carrying on a most shameless campaign of falsehood and 
slander concerning the passage through Germany of myself and 
thirty other emigrants. 

The capitalist newspapers shamelessly lie, when they assert or 
insinuate that we have availed ourselves of certain inadmissible or 
extraordinary favours from the German Government, a government 
which we consider just as predatory, just as criminal, as are all 
the capitalist governments that are carrying on the present war. 

Rich people who had "connections" with the high officials of the 
tsarist monarchy, such as the liberal professor Kovalevsky, the 
friend of the Miliukovs, et al. 9 for example, have continually nego- 
tiated with the German Government through the agency of the tsarist 
Russian Government with a view to arranging for an exchange of 
Russians captured by the Germans, for Germans captured by the 
Russians. 

Why then should the emigrants, who languished abroad because 
of their struggle against the Tsar, not have the right to arrange for 
an exchange of Russians for Germans without the government's aid? 

Why has the government of Miliukov, et al., not admitted into 
Russia Fritz Flatten, the Swiss Socialist, who travelled with us and 
who had negotiated the agreement with the German Government 
concerning the exchange? 

The government lies when it spreads rumours that Flatten is a 
friend of the Germans. This is pure slander. Flatten is the friend 
of the workers and the enemy of the capitalists of all countries. 

The capitalists lie when they circulate rumours that we are for a 
separate peace with the Germans, that we conferred or wanted to 
confer in Stockholm with those among the German Socialists who 
sided with their government. 

This is a lie and a calumny. We did not participate and shall 
not participate in any conferences with such Socialists. We regard 

183 



AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 



the Socialists of all countries who are helping their respective capi- 
talists to carry on this criminal war, as traitors to the cause of 
Socialism. 

Only those Socialists are our friends, who, like Karl Liebknecht, 
condemned to hard labour by the predatory German government, 
rise against their own capitalists. 

We do not want a separate peace with Germany, we want peace 
among all the peoples, we want the victory of the workers of all 
the countries over the capitalists of all countries. 

The Russian capitalists are lying about us and are slandering us, 
just as the German capitalists are slandering Liebknecht. The capi- 
talists lie when they say that we want discord and hostility to exist 
between the workers and the soldiers. 

This is not true! We want the workers and the soldiers to unite. 
We want to make it clear to the members of the Soviets of Workers' 
and Soldiers'* Deputies that it is the Soviets that must have the full 
state power. 

The capitalists are traducing us. They have sunk to such shame- 
lessness that not one bourgeois newspaper has reprinted from the 
Izvestia our report pertaining to our journey and the decision of 
the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies. 

Every worker and every soldier knows his Soviet of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies. It was to the Executive Committee of this Soviet 
that we made our report on the day following our arrival. The 
report appeared in the Izvestia. 127 Why has not a single capitalist 
paper reprinted this report? 

Because these papers are spreading lies and slanders and are 
afraid lest our report to the Executive Committee should expose the 
deceivers. 

Why has not one paper reprinted the decision of the Executive 
Committee concerning our report, the decision which was published 
in the same issue of the Izvestia? 

Because this decision exposes the lies of the capitalists and their 
newspapers, in that it demands that the government take steps for 
the return of the emigrants. 

The Soviet Izvestia has published a protest against Trotsky's 
arrest by the English ; it has published a letter by Zurabov exposing 
Miliukov's lies; it has also published a telegram from Martov 128 
on the same subject. 



TO THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS 185 

Soldiers and Sailors! Do not believe the lies and the slanders 
of the capitalists! Expose the deceivers, who keep silent about the 
truth published in the Izvestia! 

Written about April 24-27, 1917. 

First published in the Lenin Collection, Vol. IV, 1925. 



AGAINST THE POGROM MAKERS 129 

To the workers, the soldiers, and all the inhabitants of Petrograd! 

Citizens! The paper Russkaia Volia, founded by the Tsar's Min- 
ister Protopopov and despised even by the Cadets, is inciting to a 
pogrom against our party, against the paper Pravda, against our 
comrades Lenin and Zinoviev, against the Petrograd Committee of 
our party located in Kshesinskaia's palace. We have had a num- 
ber of communications, oral as well as written, regarding threats of 
violence, bombing, etc. 

Since the very first days of the revolution, the capitalists, masking 
as "republicans," have been trying to sow hostility between the 
workers and the soldiers. First they lied about the workers wanting 
to deprive the army of bread. Now they are trying to incite against 
the Pravda. 

We are appealing to the sense of honour of the revolutionary 
workers and soldiers of Petrograd, and we declare: 

We not only have not been guilty of any direct or indirect threats 
of violence against any individual but, on the contrary, we have 
always maintained that our task consists in explaining our views 
to all the people, in explaining why we regard the Soviet of Workers* 
and Soldiers* Deputies, elected by all the workers and the soldiers, 
as the only revolutionary government possible. 

On the very first day of their arrival the comrades, members of 
various parties, who passed through Germany, made a report to 
people trusted by all the workers and the soldiers, namely, to the 
Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers* Depu- 
ties. Chkheidze, Tsereteli, Skobelev, Steklov, and others were mem- 
bers of this Executive Committee. 

Comrades! Those leaders of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers* 
Deputies differ with us on many questions pertaining to the organisa- 
tion of the state. They could not have acted out of friendship for 
us. Now what did the Executive Committee do? 

It published in its Izvestia, No. 32, April 5, 1917, the full report 
dealing with the passage through Germany. 

This report gives all the facts, as well as the names of the foreign 



AGAINST THE POGROM MAKERS 187 

Socialists from two neutral countries, Switzerland and Sweden, who 
checked up our minutes. 

And what was the decision of the Executive Committee? Did it 
express its condemnation of or even dissatisfaction with the passage 
of Lenin and others through Germany? 

No. Here is how the editors of the Izvestia in the same issue of 
the paper worded the decision of the Executive Committee: 

Having heard the report of Comrades Zurabov and Zinoviev, the Executive 
Committee decided to apply immediately to the Provisional Government and 
to take measures looking toward the immediate admission into Russia of 
all emigrants, irrespective of their political views and their attitude toward 
the war. The results of the negotiations with the government will be pub- 
lished in the near future. Editors. 

Any one can see, that not a single word is said here against 
Lenin and his comrades. Rather the Provisional Government is 
being cautioned and it is decided to take measures so that it may 
not hinder admission into Russia. 

The telegram of Martov and the arrest of Trotsky by the English 
after that prove that Miliukov is powerless against England and 
France who keep imprisoned their own Socialist-internationalists, 
or that Miliukov does not want to take serious measures. 

Throughout the war the exchange of Germans for Russians has 
taken place repeatedly. Kovalevsky, member of the State Council, 
was returned in exchange for an Austrian, etc. For the rich such 
exchanges have been arranged by the governments many a time. 
Why then does not the present government want to arrange such an 
exchange for the emigrants? Because it wants to deprive a number 
of fighters of a chance to participate in the revolutionary struggle. 

What does the Russkaia Volia, or papers that follow in its foot- 
steps, like the Riech and the Yedinstvo, do? 

They continue their baiting, thereby inciting ignorant people to 
violence upon individuals, while they refrain from publishing 
either the report or the decision of the Executive Committee. 

The Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers* 
Deputies has been furnished the names of a uumber of Socialists 
who have verified and approved every step taken by the emigrants 
in connection with the journey. Those are the French Socialists 
Loriot and Guilbeaux, the Swiss Socialist Flatten; the Swedish So- 
cialists Lindhagen (Mayor of Stockholm) , Carlson, Strom, Nerman; 



188 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

the German Socialist of the Karl Liebknecht group, Hartstein; the 
Polish Socialist Bronski. 

Such conduct of the Russkaia Volia, the Riech and the Yedinstvo 
is aiding and abetting the dark forces that threaten violence, bombs, 
and pogroms. 

Comrades, soldiers and workers! 

We warn you against these gentlemen of the Russkaia Volia, the 
Riech and the Yedinstvo, and we declare over and over again: we 
stand for explaining to all the people the views of all the parties, 
we stand for respecting the Soviet of Soldiers* and Workers' Deputies. 

If the Provisional Government, if the Riech, if Mr. Plekhanov are 
dissatisfied with the conduct of the Executive Committee of the 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, why do they not state so 
openly! Why do they not demand a re-examination of the case? 
Why are they afraid to reprint what was published in No. 32 of the 
Izvestia? Why? Because their aim is to sow discord! 

If violence, in one form or another, is resorted to, we shall place 
the responsibility on the editors and contributors of the Russkaia 
Volia, the Riech, the Yedinstvo, etc., who have dared to refrain from 
publishing the report and the decision of the Executive Committee, 
and to carry on an insidious propaganda. 

The paper Dielo Naroda, in which Minister A. F. Kerensky is 
taking an active part, has already pointed out that the methods of 
the above-named newspapers are helping the pogrom makers (Dielo 
Naroda, No. 23). 

We want the Miliukovs, Amfiteatrovs, Plekhanovs, and Co. to 
know that if as a result of their baiting violence is resorted to it 
will recoil first of all on themselves. 

Down with the pogrom agitation! Down with the heroes of 
baiting and deception, who suppress the decisions of the Executive 
Committee! 

Comrades, soldiers and workers! You will not allow the freedom 
of the people to be blackened by pogroms! You will see to it that 
the decisions of your Soviet of Soldiers* and Workers* Deputies are 
respected. 

Central Committee of R.S.-D.L.P. 
Petrograd Committee of R.S.-D.L.P. 

Written April 27, 1917. 

Published in the Pravda, No. 33, April 28, 1917. 



CITIZENS! UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF THE METHODS 
USED BY THE CAPITALISTS OF ALL COUNTRIES 

TO-DAY'S Riech concludes its editorial with the following words: 

The German Government is endeavouring to preserve unity within Germany 
and to create discord among the Allies. Our ''Pravdists" are making every 
effort to undermine unity in revolutionary Russia and to set the Russian 
Government upon the governments of our allies, England and France. Are 
we then not justified in saying that the Lenin crew is working for von 
Bethmann-Hollweg and Wilhelm II? 

No, Messrs, capitalists, you are not justified in saying it. It is 
the Pravdists, and we alone, that are not only not preserving inner 
unity in Germany, but are, on the contrary, actually engaged in 
destroying it. 

This is a fact that no lies of the Russian capitalists can ever 
obliterate. 

It is a fact that we, the Pravdists, and we alone, demand the 
unconditional and immediate breaking away of the German Social- 
ists from the German Plefchanovs, i. e. y the Scheidemanns, and from 
the German "centre," i. e., the people who vacillate, who do not 
dare to break away, definitely, on principle, from the Scheidemanns. 

It is a fact that we, the Pravdists, and we alone, advocate unity 
with only two German Socialist groups (the "Spartacus" and the 
"Arbeiterpolitik") which share the ideas of Karl Liebknecht, . e. 9 
which advocate the destruction of inner unity in Germany. The 
policy of Karl Liebknecht, a policy of deeds, not words, is to destroy 
the "unity" between the capitalists and the workers of Germany. 

Clearly realising that the German capitalists and their Wilhelm 
are imperialists, i.e., robbers, Karl Liebknecht as far back as 
September, 1915, despatched a letter to the Zimmerwald Conference, 
which was never published, because Liebknecht was then still a 
legal person, but which was known to every one present at 
Zimmerwald. 

That letter called not for civil truce, but for civil war. 

This is how our comrade Karl Liebknecht preached "inner unity" 
in Germany. This is what we ourselves have preached in the 

189 



390 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

German translation of our Pravdist brochure Socialism and the War 
(Zinoviev and Lenin ) .* 

Karl Liebknecht not only spoke this way, he acted accordingly. 
From the platform of the German parliament, he called upon the 
German soldiers to turn their weapons against their own German 
government. Then he joined a street demonstration with revolu- 
tionary proclamations reading: "Down with the Government!" 

This is how Karl Liebknecht, an adherent of our Pravdist policy, 
has been "endeavouring to preserve unity within Germany." This 
is why he is languishing in prison now. 

And Karl Liebknecht is denounced as a Judas and a traitor not 
only by the entire press of the German capitalists, but also by all 
the papers of the German Plekhanovs who accuse him more or less 
directly of treason or Anarchism. 

In every country the capitalists are pouring oceans of lies, 
calumnies, vilifications and accusations of treason upon those So- 
cialists who are behaving as Karl Liebknecht is behaving in Ger- 
many, or as the Pravdists are behaving in Russia, i. e. 9 who are de- 
stroying the "inner unity" between the workers and the capitalists, 
the workers and the Plekhanovs, the workers and the "centrists" of 
each country, and who are creating unity among the workers of all 
countries in order to make an end of the predatory, murderous, 
imperialist war, in order to rid mankind of the yoke of capitalism. 
In Germany the capitalists are baiting as traitors Karl Liebknecht 
and his friends. In Germany, too, our comrade Karl Liebknecht 
has been repeatedly threatened with mob violence. This has been 
mentioned even by the German Plekhanov, the social-chauvinist 
David. In Russia the capitalists bait the Pravdists as traitors. In 
England the capitalists bait the Scotch public school teacher Mac- 
Lean as a traitor. The latter is languishing in prison for the same 
kind of crime, for the same kind of "treason" as that of which Karl 
Liebknecht and we, the Pravdists, are guilty. 

In France the capitalist-republican government is keeping in prison 
the Frenchman Contant and the Russian Raiev for issuing a procla- 
mation entitled "Through Force Shalt Thou Obtain Peace." 

Gentlemen of the Riech, Messrs. Ministers, gentlemen of the 

revolutionary government, put us, Pravdists, in prison, or suggest 

to the Russian people that it put us in prison! Thus you will be 

following in the footsteps of capitalistic England, our ally (or of 

* See V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, VoL XVIIL Ed. 



METHODS OF THE CAPITALISTS 191 

Tsar Nicholas II, for it was he who concluded the treaty with the 
Allies) , which is keeping in prison the English Pravdists. 

Down with "inner unity" between workers and capitalists in all 
countries, for this "unity" has condemned and is still condemning 
humanity to the horrors of the predatory, imperialist war waged in 
the interests of the capitalists! 

Long live unity among those Socialists and workers in all the 
countries who not only sympathise with Karl Liebknecht verbally, 
but who also carry out the Liebknecht policy against their own 
capitalists! 

Pravda, No. 33, April 28, 1917. 



"VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT" BETWEEN LANDOWNERS 
AND PEASANTS? 

HERE is the text of the telegram from Minister Shingarev, men- 
tioned in yesterday's editorial of our paper, and printed in to-day's 
Dien: 

Having learned of the decision of the Ranenburg Committee relating to 
the grain sowing, I regard it as my duty to declare that an independent 
solution of the land question in the absence of a general state law is inad- 
missible. Arbitrary action will lead to a national calamity and will jeopardise 
the cause of freedom by provoking discord. The lawful solution of the land 
question is the business of the Constituent Assembly. Pending that, there 
will be formed in each locality as adjuncts of the volost * supply committees 
agricultural chambers of conciliation for the purpose of effecting voluntary 
agreements between the tillers of the land and the landowners. The ques- 
tion of leaseholds on vacant lands is also being speedily considered. In 
the name of general order I request that everybody be guided by the decisions 
of the Provisional Government and refrain from arbitrarily establishing 
would-be laws. 

Does it look like "democracy," like "people's freedom," when 
the peasants, who admittedly constitute a large, an overwhelming 
majority of the population, have no right to adopt and carry out 
their own decision, but must wait for "a voluntary agreement" 
between the agricultural workers and the landowners? 

One landowner having two thousand desiatinas of land, and 
three hundred peasant families having two thousand desiatinas of 
land. This is how the matter stands in Russia as a whole. Three 
hundred peasants must wait for the "voluntary" agreement of one 
landowner!! 

Is this right, comrade soldiers? 

Pravda, No. 33, April 28, 1917. 

* Volost an administrative unit comprising several villages. Ed. 



192 



AN HONEST VOICE IN A CHORUS OF SLANDERERS 

Malenkaia Gazeta 13 publishes to-day an appeal of a group of 
soldiers of the Fourth Front Line Sanitary Automobile Unit to all 
comrades in the army. They demand an investigation of the cir- 
cumstances connected with the passage through Germany of Lenin 
and others. 

Here is an honest voice rising above the flood of base lies, foul 
slander, and pogrom agitation. Indeed, every citizen has a right 
and a duty to demand an investigation into any fact that is of 
social importance. 

Here is an honest method of honest people, not of pogrom-makers. 

This is the very method which Lenin and all the adherents of 
various other parties who had come with him employed immediately 
upon their arrival. They presented a report of their passage to 
the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers* 
Deputies; in their report they gave the names of Socialists from two 
neutral countries, Switzerland and Sweden, who had signed the 
official log of the journey, and had examined all the documents. 
Chkheidze, Tsereteli, Skobelev, Steklov, and others were members 
of the Executive Committee. They decided to publish both the 
report, and the decision of the Executive Committee, in the Izvestia. 

Following the consideration of the report it was resolved: "Having heard 
the report of Comrades Zurabov and Zinoviev, the Executive Committee de- 
cided to apply immediately to the Provisional Government and to take meas- 
ures looking toward the immediate admission into Russia of all emigrants, 
irrespective of their political views and their attitude toward the war.** 

Both documents were published in the Izvestia, No. 32, April 5, 
1917. 

Is it fair, is it sensible not to reprint the report and the resolution, 
and to conduct a pogrom agitation? 

Have the comrades of the Fourth Front Line Sanitary Automobile 
Unit acted right by hastening to "brand" and to "denounce" the 
newly arrived as "traitors," by hurling "anathemas" at them, and by 
reviling them otherwise before considering the documents printed in 
the Izvestia? 

193 



194 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 



Is this not precisely what is meant by Anarchism, an appeal not 
to respect the members of the Executive Committee elected by the 
workers and soldiers? 

N. LENIN. 

Praida, No. 33, April 28, 1917. 



THE SOLDIERS AND THE LAND 

THE majority of the soldiers come from the peasantry. Every 
peasant knows how the landowners have oppressed and are oppress- 
ing the people. But wherein lies the power of the landowners? 

In the land. 

The landowners have tens of millions of desiatinas of land. That 
is why nothing remains for millions of peasant families hut to 
enslave themselves to the landowners. 

No "liberties" can help the peasants while the landowners are 
in possession of tens of millions of desiatinas of land. 

It is necessary that all the lands of the landowners be taken 
over by the people. It is necessary that all the land in the country 
become the property of the people, and its administration be placed 
in the hands of the local Soviets of Peasants* and Agricultural 
Labourers' Deputies. 

How is this to be accomplished? We must forthwith form all 
over Russia, in every village, without exception, local Soviets of 
Peasants' and Agricultural Labourers' Deputies modeled after the 
Soviets of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies in the cities. If the 
peasants and agricultural workers will not unite of their own accord, 
if they themselves will not take their fate into their own hands, 
then no one in this world can help them, no one can free them from 
their bondage to the landowners. 

But in order to be able to seize immediately the entire land of 
the landowners in their own districts and to manage it efficiently, 
preserving perfect order, and guarding against any damage to 
property, the peasants must be supported by the soldiers. 

The peasants, workers, and soldiers constitute the overwhelming 
majority of the people. This majority wants the land to be placed 
immediately in the hands of the Soviets of Peasant Deputies. No 
one can stop the majority, if it is well organised (banded together, 
united), if it is class-conscious, if it is armed. 

Soldiers! Help to unite and arm all the workers and the peasants! 

Soldiers! You, too, unite more solidly, and form closer ties with 

195 



196 AFTER THE RETURN TO RUSSIA 

the workers and the peasants! Do not let anybody take away your 
armed power! 

Then, and only then, will the people he able to obtain the land, 
and free itself from its bondage to the landowners. 

N. LENIN. 

Soldatskaia Pravda, No. 1, April 28, 1917. 



THE PETROGRAD CITY CONFERENCE OF THE RUSSIAN 

SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY 

FROM APRIL 27 TO MAY 5, 1917 1S1 



First published in 1925 in The Petrograd City 
Conference and the All-Russian Conference of the 
Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, April 
[May], 1917. (In Russian.) 




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First Page of the Zurich Volksrecht, March 31, 1917, Showing an Account 

of Lenin's Lecture on "The Tasks of the R.S.-D.L.P. in the Russian Revolution," 

Entitled "Lenin on the Russian Revolution" (see p. 77). 



THE PETROGRAD CITY CONFERENCE OF THE R. S.-D. L. P. 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION AND THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS 
THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT, APRIL 27, 1917 

WE worked out our political line earlier and with more precision 
than other parties. This line is expressed in resolutions. Life^ 
however, has furnished us with an entirely new situation. The 
chief mistake which revolutionists make is that they look back to 
the revolutions of the past Life presents a great deal which is 
new and which must be included in the general sequence of events. 

The motive forces of the revolution we have defined quite cor- 
rectly. Events have justified our old Bolshevik premises, but the 
trouble is that the comrades have wished to remain "old" Bolsheviks. 
Mass movement was confined to the proletariat and the peasantry. 
The West-European bourgeoisie had always been opposed to revo- 
lution. Such was the situation to which we were accustomed. But 
it has turned out differently. The imperialist war has split the 
European bourgeoisie, and this has created a situation where the 
Anglo-French capitalists, for imperialist reasons, began to favour a 
Russian revolution. The English capitalists actually entered into a 
conspiracy with Guchkov, Miliukov, and the high commanding offi- 
cers of the army. The Anglo-French capitalists are siding with the 
revolution. The European newspapers report many instances of 
English and French emissaries journeying to carry on negotiations 
with "revolutionists" like Guchkov. The revolution has thus gained 
an unexpected ally. As a result, the revolution has turned out to be 
different from what any one expected. We have found allies not 
only in the Russian bourgeoisie but also among the Anglo-French 
capitalists. When I mentioned this in the course of an address de- 
livered abroad,* I was told by a Menshevik, that we were wrong, for 
events had proved, so he said, that the bourgeoisie was needed for 
the success of the revolution. I replied that it was "needed" onlyj 
to the extent that it helped the revolution triumph in eight days. 

* See p. 77 of this book. Ed, 

199 



200 THE PETROGRAD PARTY CONFERENCE 

Did not Miliukov declare even before the revolution that if victory 
were to be attained through revolution, then he was against victory? 
We must not forget these words of Miliukov. 

And so, the revolution in its first stage developed in a way that 
no one had expected. The Bolsheviks' reply to the question as to 
the possibility of "national defence" was as follows: Should the 
bourgeois-chauvinist revolution triumph (No. 47 of the Social- 
Democrat)^* national defence would become impossible. The 
uniqueness of the situation is in the dual power that now exists. 
Abroad, where not a single paper more radical than the Riech ever 
penetrates, and where the Anglo-French bourgeois papers speak of 
the all-powerful Provisional Government and the "chaos" repre- 
sented by the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, nobody 
has any clear conception of this dual power. Only here on the 
spot have we learned that the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Depu- 
ties has surrendered its power to the Provisional Government. The 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies represents the realisa- 
tion of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the soldiers; among 
the latter the majority are peasants. It is therefore a dictatorship 
of the proletariat and the peasants. But this "dictatorship" has 
entered into an agreement with the bourgeoisie. And here it is 
where the "old" Bolshevism is in need of revision. The situation 
that has come about indicates that the dictatorship of the proletariat 
and the peasants is interlocked with the power of the bourgeoisie. 
A most amazingly unique situation. The past contains no instances 
of a revolution where the representatives of the revolutionary prole- 
tariat and peasantry, though fully armed, concluded an alliance with 
the bourgeoisie, though having power, ceded it to the bourgeoisie. 
The bourgeoisie controls the power of capital and the power of 
organisation. It is to be marvelled at that the workers have shown 
themselves to be as well organised as they have. The bourgeois 
revolution in Russia has been completed in so far as power has 
come into the hands of the bourgeoisie. Here the "old Bolsheviks" 
rebut: "It has not been completed, for there is no dictatorship of 
the proletariat and the peasants." But the Soviet of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies represents that very dictatorship. 

The agrarian movement can proceed in two ways. The peasants 
may take the land, but no struggle may develop between the village 

*See V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, VoL XVm, Article, "A Few Theses. 
The Editors." Ed. 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 201 

proletariat and the prosperous peasant. Though this is not very 
likely, for the class-struggle does not wait. To repeat now what we 
said in 1905, and omit mention of the class-struggle in the village, is 
treason to the proletarian cause. 

Already, we can discern in the decisions of a number of peasant 
congresses a tendency to wait with the solution of the agrarian 
question until the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, this 
represents a victory for the prosperous peasantry which leans 
towards the Cadets. The peasants, however, are seizing the land. 
The Socialists-Revolutionists are restraining them, suggesting that 
they wait for the Constituent Assembly. We must combine the 
demand for the immediate seizure of the land with propaganda for 
the creation of Soviets of Agricultural Labourers* Deputies. The 
bourgeois democratic revolution has been completed. The agrarian 
programme must be carried out in a new way. The same struggle 
for power between the large and the petty proprietors that is taking 
place here will occur in the village. The peasants will not be satis- 
fied with land alone. The number of horseless peasants has 
increased greatly. We, alone, are at present stimulating the devel- 
opment of the agrarian revolution, when we tell the peasants to 
take the land immediately. The land must be taken in an organised 
manner. Property must not be damaged. The agrarian movement 
is, thus, only an anticipation, and not a fact It is the task of 
Marxists to make the question of an agrarian programme clear to 
the peasants; it is necessary to shift its centre of gravity to a 
Soviet of Agricultural Labourers* Deputies. However, we must be 
prepared for a situation where the peasantry may unite with the 
bourgeoisie, just as the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies 
has done. It follows that the agrarian movement still must be de- 
veloped. The prosperous peasantry will, naturally, gravitate 
towards the bourgeoisie, towards the Provisional Government. It 
may prove even more conservative than Guchkov. 

For the time being, the victory of bourgeois power has been 
attained. The economic position of the peasants separates them 
from the landowners. What the peasants need is not a legal claim 
to the land. They need Soviets of Agricultural Labourers* Deputies. 
Those who advise the peasants to wait for the Constituent Assembly 
are deceiving them. 

Our task is to draw a line of class demarcation through the petty- 
bourgeois bog. The bourgeoisie does its work excellently, making 



202 THE PETROGRAD PARTY CONFERENCE 

all sorts of promises, but carrying into effect only its class policy. 
In the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies the correlation 
is such that power is transferred to the Provisional Government, 
while the Socialists content themselves with "contact commissions." 
True, this government is composed of the most trusted and best 
people of their class, but still of a definite class. The petty bour- 
geoisie has completely surrendered to them. If we do not mark out 
a proletarian line, we shall betray the cause of the proletariat. The 
bourgeoisie rules either by deception or by violence. At the present 
moment flattery and deception prevail, and this lulls the revolu- 
tion to sleep. In matters of secondary importance they do make 
concessions. But in matters of prime importance (the agrarian 
revolution, for example), they do nothing. He who does not see 
that in Russia, outside of the Bolshevik ranks, there is nothing but 
revolutionary defencism, and that it has triumphed everywhere, can- 
not see the facts. Revolutionary defencism means the surrender of 
all Socialist principles for the sake of the predatory interests of large 
capital; hidden behind the phrase "national defence," it means the 
surrender of the position to the petty bourgeoisie. When I spoke of 
the "conscientious" mass of revolutionary defencists, I had in mind 
not a moral category, but a class definition. The class represented 
in the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies is not interested 
in predatory war. In Europe it is different. There the people are 
oppressed, the most opportunistic pacifists are not infrequently 
baited even more than we, the Pravdists. Here the Soviet of Workers* 
and Soldiers' Deputies carries its policy of revolutionary defencism 
into effect, not by violence, but because the masses trust it Europe 
is one large military prison. Capital rules cruelly there. All over 
Europe the bourgeoisie should be overthrown, and not argued with. 
In Russia the soldiers are armed; they allowed the bourgeoisie to 
beguile them peacefully when they agreed ostensibly only to "defend 
themselves" against Wilhelm. In Europe, there is no "conscientious" 
revolutionary defencism, of the sort we have in Russia, where the 
people have handed over the power to the bourgeoisie, because 
of ignorance, inertia, the habit to suffer the rod, tradition. Stek- 
lov, Chkheidze, nominally leaders, in reality are appendages of the 
bourgeoisie; despite their virtues, their knowledge of Marxism, etc., 
they are politically dead. Here the power is in the hands of the 
soldiers, who incline towards defencism. The objective class posi- 
tion of the capitalists is one thing. They fight for themselves. The 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 203 

soldiers are proletarians and peasants. This is another thing. Are 
they interested in seizing Constantinople? No, their class inter- 
ests are against war! That is why they can be enlightened, their 
minds can be changed. The crux of the political situation of the 
present moment is to be able to make the truth clear to the masses. 
We cannot regard ourselves as "leaning upon" the revolutionary 
masses, etc., until we have explained to the soldiers or to the un- 
educated masses the meaning of the slogan "Down with war. 1 ' 

What is the Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies? Its class 
significance is direct power. Complete political freedom, we have 
not of course. But nowhere else is there such freedom as exists 
in Russia. "Down with war" does not mean to fling the bayonet 
away. It means the passing of power to another class. The thing 
on which all our present efforts must be concentrated is to explain 
that. Blanquism consisted in an effort to seize power by relying 
on the support of a minority. With us it is quite different. We 
are as yet a minority, we realise the need of winning a majority. 
Unlike the Anarchists, we need the state for the transition to So- 
cialism. The Paris Commune furnished an example of a state of 
the type of the Soviet of Workers* Deputies, an example of direct 
power held by organised and armed workers, an example of the 
dictatorship of workers and peasants. The role of the Soviets, 
the import of such a dictatorship, is in applying organised force 
against the counter-revolution, in safeguarding the conquests of the 
revolution for the benefit of the majority and with the support of 
the majority. There can be no dual power in a state. The Soviets 
of Deputies represent a type of state where the existence of a 
police is impossible. Here the people are their own rulers, and 
a return to monarchy is impossible. The army and the people must 
merge into one therein lies the triumph of liberty! Every one 
must be in possession of arms. To retain freedom, a universal 
arming of the people is indispensable. This is the essence of the 
commune. We are not Anarchists who deny organised government, 
L e., force in general, particularly a state maintained by the 
organised and armed workers themselves through the Soviets. Life 
has interlocked the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry 
with the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The next stage is the dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat, but the proletariat is not yet sufficiently 
organised and enlightened; it must be enlightened. Such Soviets 
of Workers', Peasants', etc., Deputies should be organised all over the 



204 THE PETROGRAD PARTY CONFERENCE 

country, life demands it. There is no other way. This is the 
Paris Commune! The Soviet of Workers' Deputies is not a trade 
union as the bourgeoisie would like it to be. The people view it 
differently and more correctly: the people regard it as a govern- 
ment power. In the triumph of the Soviet of Workers' Deputies, 
they see a way out of the war. This is the type of government under 
which it is possible to advance toward Socialism. Should a group 
seize power, it would not mean much. The Russian Revolution 
has risen higher: any government other than the Soviet is impos- 
sible, and this is what the bourgeoisie fears. As long as the Soviets 
have not assumed power, we will not seize it. A living force, 
however, must impel the Soviets to seize power. Otherwise we 
shall never get out of the war which the capitalists are carrying on 
by deceiving the people. All countries are on the brink of ruin; we 
ought to realise this; there is no way out except through a Socialist 
revolution. The government must be overthrown, but not every- 
body has a clear understanding of it If the power of the Pro- 
visional Government rests on the Soviet of Workers' Deputies then 
you cannot "just" overthrow it. The only way it can and must be 
overthrown is by winning over the majority in the Soviets. Either 
we go forward toward the full power of the Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies or we go back to the imperialist war, there is no other 
alternative. Kautsky denied the possibility of a revolution in time 
of war. Life has shown him to be wrong. 

As regards the nationalisation of the banks and their control, 
economically it is feasible, economically nothing can interfere with 
it, once power is in the hands of the workers. It is clear, then, 
that viewing the problems of the proletariat as we do, it is idle to 
talk about alliances with the "defencists." 

Concerning a new name for the party: the name "Social-Demo- 
crat" is incorrect; it is scientifically wrong. Marx and Engels ad- 
mitted this on many occasions. If they "tolerated" the use of the 
word, it was because after the year 1871 a special situation was 
created: a slow preparation of the masses was needed, revolution 
was not on the order of the day. Democracy, too, means state 
power, but already the Paris Commune rose above it. Now the 
whole world is facing in a practical way the question of transition 
to Socialism. The Social-Democrat Plekhanov and the rest of the 
social-chauvinists throughout the world have betrayed Socialism, 
We should call ourselves the "Communist Party." 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 205 

II 

CONCLUDING REMARKS CONCERNING THE REPORT ON THE 
POLITICAL SITUATION, APRIL 27, 1917 

THE discussion has disclosed divergence of opinion. I cannot 
answer all the questions. 132 

As regards old Bolshevism: Kalinin defended old Bolshevism. But 
he also came to the conclusion that our present tactics are correct. 
In another opinion, a deviation towards the tactics of the petty 
bourgeoisie became most manifest. 

An ancient expression: to carry the revolution to its completion; 
but which revolution? The objective situation of 1905 was as fol- 
lows: the proletariat and the peasantry constituted the only revolu- 
tionary element, while the Cadets stood for the monarchy. Now 
defencism represents the adoption by the peasants of petty-bourgeois 
tactics. Under the circumstances, the idea of carrying the revolution 
to completion has no meaning. The revolution has united the 
petty bourgeoisie with other revolutionary elements upon the 
ground of defencism. 

On the future of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peas- 
antry: a petty-bourgeois peasantry holding to the defencist point 
of view may even be in favour of a monarchy. 

A new line follows from the policy of Bolshevism. The petty 
bourgeoisie and the big bourgeoisie have combined. We proceed 
from conflicting class interests. The peasant labourers ought to be 
against the imperialist war. The peasant-proprietors are for de- 
fencism. 

Defencism has shown that the petty bourgeoisie has deserted the 
working class and has gone over to the big bourgeoisie. The 
poor peasant who earns a part of his living in the city does not need 
this war. This class ought to be opposed to the war. 

The old Bolshevism should be abandoned. We must draw a 
line of demarcation between the petty bourgeoisie and the wage- 
earning proletariat. Fine phrases about the revolutionary people 
are becoming to a man like Kerensky, but not to the revolutionary 
proletariat. To be revolutionists, even democrats, with Nicholas 
removed, is no great merit Revolutionary democracy is good for 
nothing; it is nothing but a phrase. It covers up, it does not dis- 
close, the conflicting character of class interests. A Bolshevik 
must open the workers* and the peasants* eyes to the existence of 



206 THE PETROGRAD PARTY CONFERENCE 

these conflicts, not gloss over them. If the imperialist war con- 
tinues to burden the proletariat and the peasants economically, 
then these classes will have to rebel against this war. 

Our present task is to organise a network of Soviets of Soldiers', 
Workers' and Peasants 1 Deputies, The whole of Russia is already 
being covered with a network of organs for local self-government. 
A commune may exist also in the form of organs of self-govern- 
ment. The abolition of the police, of the standing army, universal 
arming all this may be accomplished through organs of local self- 
government. I took the Soviet of Workers* Deputies as the start- 
ing point simply because it already exists. 

It is said, we must "interest" the proletariat. This is done by 
Chkheidze, by the Provisional Government, and others, when they 
use high-sounding words about revolutionary democracy. A Bol- 
shevik must differentiate between the proletariat and the petty bour- 
geoisie, and leave such words as "revolutionary democracy" and 
"revolutionary people" to Kerensky. Democracy in Russia is im- 
perialist. It is argued that we are reducing our activities to cultural 
work. This is not true. Passing resolutions about the Constituent 
Assembly, etc. that is what is meant by "interesting" the pro- 
letariat. 

The real work is to bring about the abolition of the army, of the 
bureaucracy, of the police, and to arm the whole people. 

The Constituent Assembly will not stifle the revolution, for we 
hear very little of it now, and no one is planning to convene it. 
We leave it to the Socialists-Revolutionists to "demand" its con- 
vocation. 

This war is a world war. The war is waged by definite classes, 
and was brought on by bank capital. The way to stop it is to 
transfer power to another class. Peace, while power remains in the 
hands of the ruling classes, can change nothing. 

The proletariat must be shown how the revolution can be carried 
forward by concrete measures. To carry the revolution forward, 
means to achieve self-government by self-willed action. The growth 
of democracy does not interfere with self-government, it helps us 
to realise our aims. The war can be terminated only by the transfer 
of power to another class to which measure Russia has come 
closest and certainly not by a truce concluded between the capi- 
talists of the world on the basis of an exchange of throttled na- 
tionalities. A commune would suit the peasantry completely. A 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 207 

commune means complete self-government, the absence of any super- 
vision from above. Nine-tenths of the peasantry should favour it 

The bourgeoisie may become reconciled to the nationalisation 
of land, should the peasants seize the land. We, as a proletarian 
party, must maintain that land alone cannot relieve hunger. Conse- 
quently, to cultivate the land one will have to build the commune. 
We must be for centralisation, but there are times when the problem 
can best be solved on the spot, we should allow a maximum of 
initiative to the localities. The Cadets already behave like bureau- 
crats. They tell the peasants: "Wait for the Constituent Assembly.'* 
Only our party provides slogans that really carry the revolution 
forward. The Soviets of Workers* Deputies are fully capable of 
establishing communes in each locality. The question is whether 
the proletariat will be sufficiently organised for the task, but this 
we cannot calculate in advance, we must learn by doing. 

Trotskyism: "No Tsar, but a workers* government.* 9 This, surely, 
is wrong. There is a petty bourgeoisie, it cannot be ignored. But 
it is made up of two groups. The poorer of the two is with the 
working class. 

War. To terminate the war in a pacifist manner, is sheer Utopia. 
It may be terminated by an imperialist peace. But the masses do 
not want such a peace. War is a continuation of the policies of a 
class; to change the character of the war, one must change the class 
in power. 

The name Communist Party is theoretically sound. The Left So- 
cialists of other coutries are too weak. We must take the initiative* 



III 

RESOLUTION ON THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE PROVISIONAL 
GOVERNMENT ls3 

Whereas: (1) The Provisional Government, by its class char- 
acter, is the organ of landowner and bourgeois domination; and, 

Whereas: (2) The Provisional Government and the classes it 
represents are bound with indissoluble economic and political ties 
to Russian and Anglo-French imperialism; and, 

Whereas: (3) The Provisional Government does not fully carry 
out even the programme which it has promulgated, and when it 



208 THE PETROGRAD PARTY CONFERENCE 

does, it is only because of the pressure of the revolutionary prole- 
tariat and, partly, the petty bourgeoisie; and, 

Whereas: (4) The forces of the bourgeois and feudal counter- 
revolution, now in the process of organisation, have already, under 
cover of the Provisional Government and with its obvious encour- 
agement, launched an attack on revolutionary democracy; and, 

Whereas: (5) The Provisional Government is postponing the call- 
ing of elections to the Constituent Assembly, is interfering with the 
general arming of the people, is opposing the transfer of the land 
to the people, is foisting upon it the landowners' way of settling 
the agrarian question, is blocking the introduction of the eight-hour 
workday, is condoning counter-revolutionary propaganda in the 
army by Guchkov and Co., is organising the high-commanding 
officers of the army against the soldiers, etc.; and, 

Whereas: (6) The government, while doing this, is relying at the 
present moment on the confidence and, to a certain extent, on the 
actual consent of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies which now comprises an undoubted majority of workers 
and soldiers, L e. 9 peasants; and, 

Whereas: (7) Each step made by the Provisional Government, 
both in the realm of its domestic and foreign policies, is bound to 
open the eyes not only of the city and village proletarians and semi- 
proletarians, but also of the petty bourgeoisie, to the real nature of 
this government; 
The Conference resolves that: 

(1) In order to accomplish the passing of state power into the 
hands of the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies or of other 
organs that are the direct expression of the will of the people, it is 
necessary to do extensive work in clarifying proletarian class con- 
sciousness and in uniting the city and the village proletarians against 
petty-bourgeois vacillation, for it is only work of this nature that 
will assure the successful advance of the whole revolutionary 
people; and that 

(2) Such work requires comprehensive activity within the Soviets 
of Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies, an increase in the number of 
Soviets, an increase in their power, a welding together, within the 
Soviets, of the proletarian internationalist groups of our party; and 

(3) We must organise more effectively our Social-Democratic 
forces, in order that we may direct the new wave of the revolutionary 
movement under the banner of revolutionary Social-Democracy. 



ATTITUDE TOWARDS PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT 209 

IV 

TWO REBUTTALS MADE DURING THE DISCUSSION OF THE RESOLUTION 

ON THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE PROVISIONAL 

GOVERNMENT, APRIL 28, 1917 



AFTER yesterday's discussion I may confine myself to short re- 
marks. The resolution indicates a way out. The situation is deter- 
mined not only by the presence of representatives of certain classes 
in the membership of the Provisional Government, but also by the 
fact that the latter leans upon the Soviet of Workers' Deputies* It 
follows therefrom not that we must yield to the petty bourgeoisie, 
but that we must form independent groups, not in order to separate 
ourselves from the petty bourgeoisie, but in order to impel it to go 
forward. The seizure of all land is a progressive step of the revo- 
lutionary people. The replacement of the standing army by a 
militia is a forward move. 



Comrade Kamenev is shifting to the policy of Chkheidze and 
Steklov. 134 Of course, no one will say that the Provisional Gov- 
ernment is delaying the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, if 
we do not say it. Everybody wants to carry on the war. The point 
at issue is the organising of the counter-revolution. In revolu- 
tionary times control means deception. The date of elections could 
be fixed in three days. By enumerating the "sins/* we supply pre- 
cise data for propaganda. To seek the truth in the Contact Com- 
mission is impossible. There can be no control without power. To 
control by means of resolutions, etc.^ is pure nonsense. Control is 
dissipation of the petty-bourgeois illusion, fog. 

V 

DRAFT RESOLUTION ON THE WAR 135 



THE present war is, on the part of both belligerent groups, an im- 
perialist war, i. e., it is waged by capitalists for domination over 
the world, for the division of spoils by capitalists, for profitable 



210 THE PETROGRAD PARTY CONFERENCE 

markets for finance and Lank capital, and for the strangulation of 
weak nationalities. 

The passing of state power in Russia from Nicholas II to the gov- 
ernment of Guchkov, Lvov and others, to the government of the 
landowners and capitalists, did not and could not alter this class 
character and meaning of Russia's participation in the war. 

The fact that the new government is carrying on the same im- 
perialist, L e.* grabbing, predatory war, became particularly ap- 
parent when the government not only failed to publish the secret 
treaties concluded between the late Tsar Nicholas II and the capi- 
talist governments of England, France, etc., but formally confirmed 
these treaties. This was done without consulting the will of the 
people and with the clear purpose of deceiving it, for it is well 
known that the treaties concluded by the late Tsar are predatory 
through and through, that they promise the Russian capitalists free* 
dom to rob China, Persia, Turkey, Austria, etc. 

For this reason a proletarian party can support neither the present 
war, nor the present government, nor its loans, no matter in what 
glowing terms the loans may be spoken of, unless our party break 
completely with internationalism, z". e., with the fraternal solidarity 
of the workers of all lands in their struggle against the yoke of 
capital. 

Nor can confidence be placed in the promise of the present gov- 
ernment to renounce annexations, L e., conquest of foreign coun- 
tries, or in the promise to renounce forcible retention within the 
confines of Russia of this or that nationality. 

For, in the first place, the capitalists, bound by thousands of 
threads of Russian and Anglo-French bank capital, and intent on 
protecting the interests of capital, cannot renounce annexations in 
the present war without at the same time ceasing to be capitalists, 
without renouncing the profits on the billions invested in loans, in 
concessions, in war industries, etc. And, in the second place the new 
government, having renounced annexations in order to deceive the 
people, declared through Miliukov (Moscow, April 22, 1917) , that 
it had no intentions of renouncing annexations. Finally, according 
to an expose in the Dielo Naroda, a newspaper published with the 
collaboration of Minister Kerensky, Miliukov has not even sent 
abroad his statement concerning the renunciation of annexations. 

In warning the people against the empty promises of the capital- 
ists, the Conference therefore declares that it is necessary to dis- 



DRAFT RESOLUTION ON THE WAR 211 

tinguish sharply between a renunciation of annexations in words, 
and a renunciation of annexations in deed, L e., the immediate pub- 
lication of all the secret, predatory treaties, of all notes and 
documents pertaining to foreign policy, and the taking of immediate 
steps to free all the peoples which the capitalist class, continuing the 
disgraceful policy of the late Tsar Nicholas II, oppresses, forcibly 
keeps bound to Russia, or keeps in a state of subjection. 



The so-called "revolutionary defencism" which in Russia has 
permeated all the Narodnik parties (People's Socialists, Trudoviks, 
Socialists-Revolutionists), as well as the opportunist party of the 
Social-Democratic Mensheviks (0. C., Chkheidze, Tsereteli, etc.), 
and the majority of the unaffiliated revolutionists, represents, by its 
class character, on the one hand, the interests and the standpoint 
of the petty bourgeoisie, the petty proprietors, and the wealthier 
peasants, who, like the capitalists, profit by oppressing weak 
peoples; on the other hand, it is the outcome of the deception of the 
masses by the capitalists, who refuse to make public the secret 
treaties and who try to get off with promises and rhetoric* 

We are bound to admit that a very great number among the 
"revolutionary defencists" are honest, i. e. y they are honestly opposed 
to annexations, to conquests, to doing violence to weak peoples; they 
are honestly striving to attain a democratic and non-oppressive peace 
among all the belligerents. This cannot be denied, for the reason 
that the class position of the proletarians and the semi-proletarians 
of city and village (. e. 9 of the people who earn their livelihood, 
wholly or partly, by selling their labour power to the capitalists) 
renders these classes indifferent to the profits of the capitalists. 

Therefore, the conference, recognising any concessions to "revo- 
lutionary defencism" as absolutely not permissible and as actually 
signifying a complete break with internationalism and Socialism, 
declares at the same time that so long as the Russian capitalists and 
their Provisional Government confine themselves to threats of vio- 
lence against the people (for example, Guchkov's notorious decree 
threatening the soldiers with punishment for arbitrary removal of 
superiors) , as long as the capitalists have not started the use of vio- 
lence against the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', Peasants', Agricul- 
tural Workers', and other Deputies which organise themselves freely, 
elect and remove all public officers freely, so long will our party 



212 THE PETROGRAD PARTY CONFERENCE 

preach general abstention from violence, at the same time fighting 
solely by means of comradely persuasion against the deep and fatal 
error of "revolutionary defencism," emphasising the truth that the 
attitude of uncritical confidence in the government of the capitalists, 
the bitterest enemies of peace and Socialism, is, in present-day 
Russia, the greatest obstacle to a speedy conclusion of the war. 



As for the most important question of the manner of concluding 
as soon as possible, not by an oppressive peace, but by a truly 
democratic peace, this criminal, predatory, capitalist war that has 
brought mankind to the brink of ruin, hunger, and destruction, the 
Conference recognises and declares the following: 

It is utterly senseless to presume that this war can be ended merely 
by a refusal of the soldiers of any one country to continue the war, 
merely by a one-sided cessation of war activities, merely by "sticking 
the bayonet into the ground." 

Patiently, persistently, our party will explain to the people the 
truth that wars are being carried on by governments, that wars are 
indissolubly bound up with the policies of certain classes, and that, 
therefore, this war which has been started by the crowned murderers 
monarchs such as Nicholas II, and by the uncrowned murderers 
the capitalists, can be terminated with a truly democratic, non- 
oppressive peace only when the entire state power passes to the 
class that is not in the least interested in safeguarding capitalist 
profits, to the class of the proletarians and semi-proletarians which 
is really capable of putting an end to the bondage of capitalism. 
Only this class is capable of actually renouncing annexations, of 
freeing itself from the meshes of finance and bank capital, of trans- 
forming, under certain circumstances, and not in words merely but 
in deed, this predatory war into a revolutionary-proletarian one, 
into a war aiming not to crush weak peoples, but rather to free the 
workers and peasants of the whole world from the yoke of capital. 
The conference reiterates its protests against the base slander cir- 
culated by the capitalists against our party to the effect that we are 
in favour of a separate peace with Germany. We consider the Ger- 
man capitalists to be robbers no less than the capitalists of Russia, 
England, France, etc., and Emperor Wilhelm II to be a crowned 
murderer no less than Nicholas II and the monarchs of England, 
Italy, Rumania, and all the rest. We have proclaimed this view of 



DRAFT RESOLUTION ON THE WAR 213 

our party not only in Russian but also in German, in the translation 
of Lenin and Zinoviev's pamphlet Socialism and the War.* 

Moreover, as editors of the central organ of our party, and in 
the name of the party, the above-named comrades had declared 
(Social-Democrat, Geneva, October 13, 1915, No. 47), that our 
party, if it were placed in power while the war was still raging, 
would forthwith propose to Germany, as well as to all the other 
peoples, an open, non-oppressive, i. e., democratic peace, and that 
we, in case the German, English, French, and other capitalists de- 
clined such a peace, would ourselves start a revolutionary war, 
summoning the workers of all countries to join us. 

The Conference ratifies this declaration in full. 

The Conference takes cognisance of the fact that in no other bel- 
ligerent country in the world can one find either such freedom as 
is found now in Russia, or such revolutionary mass organisations 
as one finds in the Russian Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', Peasants', 
etc., Deputies; and that nowhere else in the world, therefore, can 
the transfer of state power to the actual majority of the people, . e., 
to the workers and poorest peasants, be achieved so easily. 

The Conference declares that since the majority of the people, 
though enjoying complete freedom of agitation and propaganda, 
have not yet come to understand the inseparable connection between 
the present war and capitalist interests, there is left only one prac- 
tical means of bringing a speedy end to the present butchery of 
peoples. 

This means is fraternisation at the front 

The Conference calls attention to the fact that even the Novoie 
Vremia, this servile mouthpiece of the capitalist interests, admits 
in a Kiev dispatch, dated April 26, that fraternisation has begun at 
the front. Numerous communications from soldier delegates to the 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies in Petrograd confirm this 
statement. 

Having begun to fraternise, the Russian and German soldiers, 
the proletarians and peasants of both countries dressed in soldiers' 
uniforms, have proved to the whole world that intuitively the classes 
oppressed by the capitalists have discovered the right road to the 
cessation of the butchery of peoples. 

By fraternisation we understand, first, the publication of proc- 
lamations in the Russian and the German languages for distribution 

* See V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. XVIIL <f. 



2U THE PETROGRAP PARTY CONFERENCE 

at the front; second, the arrangement, with the aid of interpreters, 
of meetings between the Russian and the German soldiers at the 
front, this to be done in a way that the capitalists, as well as the 
generals and officers of both countries who for the most part are of 
the capitalist class, will not dare to interfere with these meetings, 
will not dare even to attend them without the direct and special per- 
mission of the soldiers. 

In such proclamations and at such meetings we must explain the 
above stated opinions concerning war and peace, we must point 
out that were the state power in the two countries, Germany and 
Russia, to pass wholly and exclusively into the hands of the Soviets 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, the whole of humanity would 
heave a sigh of relief, for then we would actually be assured of a 
speedy termination of the war, of a most enduring truly democratic 
peace among all the peoples, and also of the certain passing of all 
countries into Socialism. 

The Conference declares, that the soldiers must be kept not on 
money obtained through loans that enrich the capitalists, but on 
funds derived from an especially high income and property tax 
imposed on the capitalists* 

Britten April 28-29, 1917. 

VI 

TWO REBUTTALS MADE DURING THE DISCUSSION ON THE QUESTION OF 
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, MAY 5, 1917 18e 



SINCE we have proportional representation, there is no need for a 
bloc; the minority is protected. I emphatically disagree with Com- 
rade Kalinin, because a bloc with the petty bourgeoisie, with the 
chauvinists, is unthinkable. The slightest thought of a bloc with 
the petty bourgeoisie, which is supported by the capitalists, is a 
betrayal of Socialism. With whom should we form blocs, with the 
editors of the International? 137 But this paper is not published 
yet, and therefore we do not know them. Chkheidze is the worst 
shield for defencism. Trotsky, when he was editing a paper in Paris, 
never made it clear whether he was for or against Chkheidze. We 
have always spoken against Chkheidze, because he very subtly 
covers up chauvinism. Trotsky has never made himself clear. How 



THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS 215 

do we know that Larin, the editor of the International, does not 
believe in the same tactics? 

We must come forward with a definite programme. There is a 
struggle going on now among three parties: The first is the party 
of robbers and murderers; the second is the party that shields these 
robbers with pretty words, and finally, the third party, the party 
that refuses to support robbers, that stands for exposing the mis- 
takes made by everybody, including the Executive Committee of the 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. The fault of the Soviet 
is not in that it has not seized power, but in that it teaches the 
people wrong things, it shouts of its victory over the government. 



I am decidedly in favour of placing on our tickets the names 
of the Menshevik candidates who are breaking with chauvinism. 
This is no bloc. As far as parties are concerned, Russia is remark- 
ably well organised. About a programme: The question of a paid 
militia, the question of supplies, the question of taxes all these 
questions are important. 

VII 

RESOLUTION ON THE MUNICIPAL QUESTION 13S 

THE municipal platform can under no circumstances, and par- 
ticularly at the present revolutionary time, be reduced only to com- 
munal questions. 

It must also contain a definite answer to all the basic questions 
concerning the war and concerning the tasks of the proletariat with 
regard to central power. 

And even in municipal problems, such as the question of militia, 
supplies, housing, taxes, we cannot expect the consent of the bour- 
geois parties to revolutionary measures that are needed in the 
struggle against war and its consequences. 

For the above reasons it is necessary that we go to the elections 
without blocs, upon a straight issue of principles announced in the 
programme of the proletarian party, explaining to the people the 
fundamental difference of the three main party divisions: 1. The 
Cadets and those to the Right of them; 2. The parties of the petty 
Bourgeoisie (Narodniks) and the groups of workers who have fallen 
under the influence of the bourgeoisie (the Menshevik-defencists) ; 
3. The party of the revolutionary proletariat (the Bolsheviks) . 



216 THE PETRQGRAD PARTY CONFERENCE 

The technical provisions of elections, conducted on the principle 
of proportional representation, make blocs technically superfluous. 

With those of the Mensheviks who are breaking with revolu- 
tionary defencism and with the support of the Provisional Govern- 
ment, it is by all means advisable to encourage closer relations and 
mutual understanding on the basis of practical work; with such 
comrades it is permissible to form common tickets, on condition 
that there be sufficient agreement on fundamentals. It is necessary 
to work out concrete suggestions concerning a municipal pro- 
gramme, particularly as regards the question of a proletarian 
militia to be paid by the capitalists. 



ARTICLES, SPEECHES, RESOLUTIONS, ETC., ON THE 

EVE OF THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL [MAY] CONFERENCE 

OF THE RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY 

FROM APRIL 29 TO MAY 7, 1917 



Pecccngn 




OPPAHt 

Uenrpajiniaro KOMRTBU 



Kiron 

t. 0.4 P. a, 



Jfc 26. 



EWEAHEBHAfl FA SET A. 



7-ro'anptH9i7r. 




First Page of the Pravda, April 20, 1917, Showing the Beginning of Lenin's 

Article, "The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution" 

(seep. 106). 



THE CONGRESS OF PEASANT DEPUTIES 

SINCE April 26 there has been meeting in the Tavrichesky Palace 
a congress of representatives from peasant organisations and from 
the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies who have come together to work 
out a plan for the convocation of an All-Russian Soviet of Peasants' 
Deputies and the organisation of similar local Soviets. 139 

According to the Dielo Naroda, representatives from more than 
twenty provinces are attending this congress. 

Resolutions have been adopted stressing the need of organising 
the "peasantry" from the bottom "to the top" as quickly as pos- 
sible. "Soviets of Peasants' Deputies of the various active regions" 
have been declared to be "the best form of peasant organisation." 

Bykovsky, a member of the provisional bureau in charge of calling 
the present congress, has pointed out that it was the Moscow Co- 
operative Congress, representing twelve million organised members 
or fifty million people, that decided to organise the peasantry by 
way of creating an All-Russian Soviet of Peasants' Deputies. 

This is a matter of tremendous importance, that should be sup- 
ported by all means. If it should be carried into life, without delay, 
if the peasantry, contrary to the advice of Shingarev, should by 
majority decision and not by a "voluntary agreement" with the land- 
owners, take over all the lands immediately, then not only the 
soldier would gain by receiving more bread and meat, but so would 
the cause of freedom. 

For the organisation of the peasants themselves only from below, 
without the interference of bureaucrats, without the "control and 
supervision" of the landowners and their hangers on, is the best 
and only assurance of the success of the revolution, the success of 
freedom, the successful liberation of Russia from the yoke and 
oppression of the landowners. 

There is no doubt that all members of our party and all class- 
conscious workers will do everything in their power to help or- 
ganise Soviets of Peasants' Deputies, will strive to increase their 
numbers, to augment their power, and will bend every effort to 
work within the Soviets in a manner strictly in accord with a prole- 
tarian class policy. 

219 



220 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

To carry on such work effectively, it is necessary to unite the 
various proletarian elements (agricultural workers, day labourers, 
etc.) within the general peasant Soviets, or (but sometimes and) 
to organise independent Soviets of Agricultural Labourers' Deputies. 

Our aim is not to divide forces; on the contrary, in order to 
strengthen and widen the movement we must arouse that stratum 
or, more correctly, that class which, in the terminology of the land- 
owners and capitalists, is the very lowest. 

To advance the movement we must free it from bourgeois influ- 
ence, we must rid it of the inevitable weaknesses, vacillations and 
errors of the petty bourgeoisie. 

This work must be carried on through friendly persuasion, with- 
out running ahead of events, without hastening to consolidate or- 
ganisationally what has not yet been perceived, reflected upon, 
comprehended or experienced by the representatives of the village 
proletarians and semi-proletarians themselves. But the work must 
be done, it must be started immediately and everywhere. 

The practical demands and slogans or rather the concrete pro- 
posals that we must advance to gain the attention of the peasantry, 
should be determined by the vital questions of the hour. 

The first question is that of the land. The village proletarians 
will favour the complete and immediate transfer of the entire land 
to the people, and the immediate seizure and management of the 
land by local committees. But land cannot be eaten. Many mil- 
lions of households that lack horses, implements, seeds, will gain 
nothing by the mere transfer of land to the "people.** 

It is necessary to take up immediately the question of, and 
to take practical steps towards continuing, wherever there is the least 
possibility, the management of the large estates as large estates, 
under the Soviets of Agricultural Labourers' Deputies, employing 
the services of agriculturists and using the best machines, the best 
seeds, the best methods of agricultural work. 

We cannot conceal from the peasants, least of all from the vil- 
lage proletarians and semi-proletarians, that where there is pro- 
duction of commodities for the market and capitalism, small enter- 
prises cannot free humanity from mass poverty, that it is necessary 
to consider changing over to economic enterprise on a large scale 
and of a public nature, and to begin working for it now, by teach- 
ing the masses, and in turn learning from the masses the practical 
and feasible methods of bringing about such a change* 



THE CONGRESS OF PEASANT DEPUTIES 221 

Another important and vital question is that of state organisation 
and administration. It is not enough to preach democracy, it is not 
enough to proclaim and to decree it, it is not enough to entrust its 
realisation to "representatives" of the people in representative insti- 
tutions. One must build democracy directly, from the bottom, on 
the initiative of the masses themselves, with their active participation 
in the entire life of the state, without "supervision" from above, 
without officialdom. 

Abolish the police, the bureaucracy, and the standing army. 
Create a militia consisting of the whole people, women included, 
generally and universally armed. This is die practical business 
which should be launched without delay. The more initiative, 
variety, daring, creativeness are brought into play by the masses, 
the better. Not only the village proletarians and semi-proletarians 
but nine-tenths of the entire peasantry will be sure to follow us, 
if we can expound our proposition clearly, simply, intelligently, 
supplying examples and parallels from life. Our proposition, then, 
is: 

Do not allow the police to be re-established; 

Do not allow the re-establishment of the all-powerful officialdom 
which is in reality not subject to recall and belongs to the class of 
landowners and capitalists; 

Do not allow the re-establishment of a standing army separated 
from the people, serving as a perpetual incentive for various at- 
tempts to crush liberty and to revive the monarchy. 

Teach the people, down to its lowest strata, the art of administra- 
tion, not through books but through actual practice to be begun 
immediately and everywhere, through the utilisation of the experi- 
ence of the masses. 

Democracy from below, democracy without an officialdom, with- 
out police, without a standing army; discharge of social duty by a 
militia comprising a universally armed people this will insure the 
kind of freedom which no Tsars, no pompous generals, and no 
capitalists will take away. 

Pravda, No, 34, April 29, 1917. 



ON THE RETURN OF THE EMIGRANTS 

TO-DAY'S papers are publishing a telegram over the signatures 
of P. B. Axelrod, L. Martov, Riazanov, Lunacharsky and Natanson, 
which reads: 

"WE DECLARE THAT IT IS ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE TO RETURN TO RUSSIA VIA 
ENGLAND. 

Another telegram signed hy Mandelberg, former member of the 
second Duma, Professor Reichesberg, Felix Kon, Ustinov, Bala- 
banova, Andronnikov, and others, reads: 

WE SEE A "WAY OUT IN AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE RUSSIAN AND THE GER- 
MAN GOVERNMENTS . . . FOR THE EXCHANGE OP INTERNED ... IN RETURN 
FOR THE LIBERATION OF A CORRESPONDING NUMBER OF GERMAN CIVILIANS IN- 
TERNED IN RUSSIA* 

Why shouldn't the gentlemen of the Russkaia Volia and the 
Yedinstvo brand also these political emigrants as German agents? 

Pravda, No. 34, April 29, 1917. 



222 



OUR VIEWS 

KEPLY TO THE RESOLUTION OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMISSION OF THE 
SOVIET OF SOLDIERS' DEPUTIES 

THE papers of April 29 carried the following resolution: 

Upon considering the reports of our comrades concerning the spread of 
subversive propaganda carried on under revolutionary and even Social- 
Democratic cover, and particularly that engaged in by the so-called Leninists, 
and believing such propaganda to be no less harmful than any other counter- 
revolutionary propaganda proceeding from the Right, realising at the same 
time the impossibility of resorting to repressive measures against the spread 
of any propaganda while it remains merely propaganda, the Executive Com- 
mission of the Soviet of Soldiers* Deputies declares that it is supremely im- 
portant that measures be taken to counteract such propaganda by our own 
propaganda and agitation. We must strive to make our organisations strong 
enough to be able at any moment to meet any counter-revolutionary action, 
no matter what its source, by effective actions of our own. We express our 
earnest wish that the Executive Committee will launch a systematic campaign 
in the press, and especially in the army units, against the subversive propa- 
ganda* 

If we compare this resolution with the statement quoted from 
the leading editorial in Izvestia (April 30) against the "dishonour- 
able and disgusting baiting," we see at once the political division 
on the subject which has made itself manifest in practice: The Russ- 
kaia Volia, as chief baiter, Mr. Plekhanov's Yedinstvo as "using 
the same methods" were recognised as such by a witness, the Dielo 
Naroda. 

A different stand is taken by the Executive Commission of the 
Soviet of Soldiers' Deputies which openly admits "the impossibility 
of resorting to repressive measures against the spread of any propa- 
ganda while it remains merely propaganda." 

That is why we reprint in full the resolution of the Executive 
Commission and think it worth while to analyse its meaning. 

The resolution regards Lenin's propaganda "as no less harmful 
than any counter-revolutionary propaganda proceeding from the 
Right" 

Let us see now wherein lie the main points of difference between 
(1) the counter-revolutionary propaganda proceeding from the 

223 



224 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

Right, (2) the propaganda in support of the Provisional Govern- 
ment, and (3) our own propaganda. 

The Right desires the overthrow of the Provisional Government 
and the return to a monarchy. 

The Provisional Government has promised to act in agreement 
with the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 

Our propaganda consists in demanding that the whole power of 
the state be turned over to the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', Peas- 
ants* and other Deputies and none other, because the Soviets are 
definitely known to represent an overwhelming majority of the 
people. With that in view, we want to endeavour (as was clearly 
stated by Lenin in his theses on the very first day) , through "explain- 
ing," to bring the majority of the people to a realisation of the 
necessity of such a transfer of power. 

Now then, the Rights are for a monarchical power. The capi- 
talists are for the power of the capitalists (the Provisional Govern- 
ment is a government of the capitalists) ; they only promise to act 
in agreement with the Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies. 

We, on the other hand, wish to convince the majority of the 
people that power must reside solely in the Soviets of Workers', 
Soldiers', Peasants' and other Deputies. 

It is perfectly obvious that even from the point of view of those 
who advocate an understanding with the Provisional Government 
our propaganda cannot be regarded as "no less harmful than any 
counter-revolutionary propaganda proceeding from the Right." For 
those favouring an understanding are at present themselves relying 
on the majority of the people! How then can they maintain that our 
propaganda which urges the majority to seize power is "no less 
harmful than any counter-revolutionary propaganda proceeding 
from the Right"? 

This is a glaring inconsistency. 

The Soviet of Soldiers' Deputies can hardly support this view of 
its Executive Commission for long. 

Let us go a step further. 

Wherein do we really differ? 

Chiefly on three points: 

1. On the question of land. We demand that the peasants, by the 
decision of the majority of the peasants themselves in each locality, 
take over the entire land immediately, thus increasing the output 
of bread and meat for the soldiers. 



OUR VIEWS 225 



The Provisional Government favours an "agreement" between the 
peasants and the landowners, i. e., "an agreement" of three hundred 
peasants with one landowner. 

The future will show whether the majority of the people agrees 
with us or with the Provisional Government on this question. 

2. We favour that type of a republic where, from top to bottom, 
there is no police, no standing army (instead of a standing army, we 
believe, there should be a general arming of the people), no offi- 
cialdom enjoying in fact the privileges of irremovability and high 
bourgeois salaries. We want all public offices to be elective, all 
officials to be subject to recall at any time, and their pay to be that 
of proletarians. 

The Provisional Government stands for the return of the police 
of the usual type; it favours a standing army and the usual kind 
of officialdom. 

3. The Provisional Government wants to continue the war started 
by Nicholas the Bloody. The Provisional Government stands for 
the confirmation of the secret, predatory treaties without consulting- 
the will of the people and even without making them public. 

We are against such a war, against the confirmation of the treaties, 
against their non-publication. 

We urge all nations, without exception, to put an end to the 
war by concluding not a forcible but a truly democratic peace, that 
would give freedom to all peoples and nationalities. We wish to 
prove to the people that in order to end the war by a truly non- 
coercive peace it is necessary that the power of the state be placed 
completely and exclusively in the hands of the Soviets of Workers* 
and Soldiers' Deputies. 

For as long as the capitalists and the landowners (Guchkov, Lvov, 
Miliukov) are in power, the war will remain actually under the 
direction of the capitalists, all promises of peace without annexa- 
tions will remain mere promises, distrust of the working masses of 
the world toward the capitalists' government will continue; and the 
jvar therefore will drag on. 

There is the question: Supposing state power in Russia were 
turned over to the Soviets of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies while 
Germany failed to effect a revolution such as would rid it of both 
Wilhelm II and the German Guchkovs and Miliukovs (for if the 
German Nicholas II were replaced by the German Guchkovs and 



226 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

Miliukovs, the situation in regard to the war would not change a 
whit), what would happen then? 

Our answer is: Power in the hands of the Soviets of Workers' 
and Soldiers* Deputies would be the power of the majority of the 
people, and the majority consists of workers and poor peasants. 
They are really not interested in annexations, they will renounce 
them not in words, but in deed; they will actually cease to be 
watchdogs of capitalists* profits. 

Under such circumstances we too would agree to a revolutionary 
war against the capitalists of any country, because that in truth 
would be a war against the interests of capital in general, and not 
a war in the interest of the capitalists of one particular country. 

Another question: How can we advance the cause of peace right 
now, immediately and practically, if it is impossible to end the war 
by simply sticking the bayonets into the ground? 

Our answer is: The war cannot be terminated by the simple 
expedient of sticking the bayonets into the ground, nor generally 
by the one-sided withdrawal of any of the warring nations. Out- 
side of the victory of the workers' revolution over the capitalists, 
there is, and can be, only one practical and direct way of hasten- 
ing peace, and that is the fraternisation of the soldiers at the front. 

We must aid, immediately, energetically, by all means at our 
disposal and unconditionally, the fraternisation of the soldiers of 
both warring groups at the front. 

Such fraternisation has already begun. Let us help it along. 

These are our views. We are firmly convinced that the majority 
of the people will not regard them as "no less harmful than any 
counter-revolutionary propaganda proceeding from the Right." 

N. LENIN. 

Prwda, No. 35, May 1, 1917. 



HOW THEY HAVE ATTACHED THEMSELVES TO THE 
CAPITALISTS 

IN its leading editorial of April 30, the Finansovaia Gazeta, 140 
organ of the hig capitalists and banks, clearly reveals a fact of very 
great importance, namely, how the Socialists-Revolutionists, Men- 
sheviks, etc., have bound themselves hand and foot by attaching 
themselves to the capitalists through their notorious "agreement" 
with the Provisional Government 

Here is the article in full: 

THE LEFTS AND THE LOAN 

The Liberty Loan issued by the Provisional Government has elicited less 
enthusiasm from Left wing circles than it has from the majority of the popu- 
lation. 

The Left wing press has split into three groups. Lenin's Pravda has defi- 
nitely come out against the Loan; utilising the occasion to express the point 
of view of the Bolsheviks. Plekhanov's Yedinstvo steadfastly supports the 
Loan. Finally, the other organs of the Socialist press such as the Rabochaut 
Gazeta, Zemlia i VoUaJ-** Volia Naroda 1 * 2 have taken a "middle" ground: a 
position that is neither here nor there; they are not exactly for the Loan, nor 
are they exactly against it. This is the position also of the Soviet of Soldiers* 
and Workers* Deputies which once decided to support the Loan in principle, 
but has now developed a doubt and is wavering. The Dien*** was right 
when it recently reproved this central and most powerful group, which includes 
the Mensheviks and Socialists-Revolutionists, for its uncertain and ambiguous 
stand. 

As if to give further proof of the justice of the reproof, the Soviet of 
Soldiers* and Workers' Deputies yesterday again returned to the once settled 
question of the Loan and had a lengthy discussion about it. N. S. Chkheidze 
announced that the government was expected to issue shortly a new statement 
exhaustively explaining its stand on questions of foreign and domestic policy. 
Pending that, N. S. Chkheidze proposed that the consideration of the ques- 
tion of supporting the Loan be deferred. 

This attitude of the Lefts is perplexing, to say the least. After all, some 
one has to run the government and carry out the reforms for which suffering 
Russia has been longing. 

One of the two: Either the present government enjoys the confidence of the 
Lefts even now, for in the past nothing contravening the assumed obligations 
has been permitted by it; or it does not enjoy such confidence. In the latter 
case, the Lefts, in depriving the Provisional Government of their support, 
must take over not only the control over its activities, but also the entire 
burden of government and the responsibility before the people and before 
history. If, however, no blame attaches to anything that the Provisional 
Government has done up to the present moment, then, naturally, the Lefts 

227 



228 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

have no business to wait for the government's future acts but must lend it 
their full support. What is quite inadmissible is their ambiguousness, their 
evasive reticence, their deliberate omissions which, on the one hand, do not 
remove one grain of responsibility from the shoulders of the Provisional 
Government which cannot even justify itself before history on account of isola- 
tion, on the other hand, they practically rob the government of the support 
of the large democratic masses and thus put it in a difficult position. 

Socialist movements have always been distinguished for their straightfor- 
wardness. The Socialist parties have always eschewed a policy of evasion, of 
philistine pussyfooting, of elastic opportunism. But now, in the question of 
the Loan, the central groups of Russian Socialism have abandoned their tra- 
ditional principles and set out upon the path of Octobrist shilly-shallying. 
Public opinion has a right to demand of them that they make perfectly clear 
their attitude on the question of the Loan, that they honestly and openly 
declare their participation or non-participation in it and thus fulfil their moral 
obligation to the Provisional Government, which means either to bring it the 
support of the Left groups or else to make known their disagreement with it 

The bankers mean business. They look upon politics in a busi- 
ness-like way: Once you have promised to support the capitalist 
government (which wages an imperialist war), then come across 
with the Loan. 

Correct! Having bound themselves hand and foot, the Socialists- 
Revolutionists and the Mensheviks have meekly surrendered to the 
capitalists. The promise to issue "shortly" "a new statement ex- 
haustively (!!??) explaining (it has been by now explained more 
than enough!) its stand on the questions of foreign and domestic 
policy" is nothing but an empty pledge. 

No "statements'* containing declarations, assurances, and pro- 
nunciamentos will change the essence of the whole thing. And the 
essence of it is that the capitalist government of Lvov, Guchkov, 
Miliukov and Co. represents capitalist interests, is bound up with 
those interests, and cannot (even if it wishes to) get away from 
imperialistic, grasping annexationist policies. 

To gain the support of the Left groups by means of meaningless 
promises that are not binding, that is to say, to bolster up its im- 
perialistic policy without in fact receding a step from it by gain- 
ing the approval of the Lefts; this is what our imperialist govern- 
ment is trying to do, this is what Chkheidze and his friends are un- 
consciously helping it to accomplish. 

"Octobrist shilly-shallying" what a winged little phrase! This 
is not only a business-like, but also a correct evaluation of the 
Socialist-Revolutionist and Menshevik political line by people who 
really know. 
Pravda, No. 36, May 3, 1917. 



ON PROLETARIAN MILITIA 

IN a correspondence from Kanavin, Province of Nizhni Novgorod, 
dated April 27, our paper published the information that "almost 
all the factories have instituted a workers' militia paid by the fac- 
tory maTiagemenls* 9 144 

The Kanavin district, according to our correspondent, takes in 
sixteen factories, about thirty thousand workers, excepting railway 
employes. This means that the organisation of a workers 5 militia 
paid by the capitalists has embraced a considerable number of the 
largest enterprises in that locality. 

The organisation of a workers' militia to be paid by the capi- 
talists is a measure of great it is no exaggeration to say, of enor- 
mous and decisive importance, practically as well as in principle. 
The revolution cannot be made safe, the success of its victories can- 
not be assured, its further development is impossible, unless this 
measure become general, unless it be carried through to the very 
end, all over the country. 

The bourgeois and landowning republicans who turned repub- 
lican after they had become convinced of the impossibility of ruling 
over the people otherwise are trying to establish a republic that 
is as monarchical as possible; something like the French one which 
Shchedrin called a republic without republicans. 

At the present time, when the landowners and capitalists have 
come to realise the strength of the revolutionary masses, the most 
important thing for them is to safeguard the most essential insti- 
tutions of the old regime, to safeguard the old instruments of op- 
pression: the police, the bureaucracy, the standing army. This is 
why they try to reduce the "citizens* militia" to the old type, i. e. 9 
to small detachments of armed people, separated from the masses 
but in the closest possible contact with, and under the command 
of, the bourgeoisie. 

The minimum programme of Social-Democracy demands the 
replacement of the standing army by a general arming of the 
masses. But the majority of the official Social-Democrats in Europe, 
as well as the majority of our own Menshevik leaders, have "for- 
gotten" or put aside the party programme, substituting chauvinism 

229 



230 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

("defencism") for internationalism, reformism for revolutionary 
tactics. 

And yet, it is now, at the present revolutionary moment, that the 
need of a general arming of the people is particularly urgent. To 
assert that, while we have a revolutionary army, it is superfluous to 
arm the proletariat or to claim that the supply of arms is "insuf- 
ficient," is mere deception and trickery. The point is to hegin to 
organise a universal militia forthwith, so that every one should 
learn the use of arms even if the supply is "insufficient" for all, for 
it is not at all necessary that the people have enough weapons to 
arm everybody. The people must learn, one and all, how to use 
arms, they must belong, one and all, to the militia which is to re- 
place the police and the standing army. 

To the workers it is essential that there should be no army sepa- 
rated from the people; it is essential that the workers and soldiers 
merge into one truly national militia. 

Unless this is done, the apparatus for oppression remains in full 
force, ready to serve Guchkov and his friends, the counter-revolu- 
tionary generals, to-day, and Radko Dmitriev or some pretender 
to the throne or builder of a plebiscite monarchy to-morrow. 

The capitalists need a republic now, because they cannot at 
present "manage" the people otherwise. But they need a "parlia- 
mentary*' republic., i.e., one where democracy would be limited to 
democratic elections, to the right of sending to parliament indi- 
viduals who, as Marx aptly remarked, represent and oppress the 
people. 

The opportunists of contemporary Social-Democracy who have 
substituted Scheidemann for Marx have memorised the rule that 
parliamentarism "should be utilised" (which is absolutely correct) , 
but they have forgotten what Marx taught concerning proletarian 
democracy as distinguished from bourgeois parliamentarism. 

The people need a republic in order to educate the masses in the 
methods of democracy. Not merely representation along democratic 
lines is needed, but also the building of the entire state administra- 
tion from the bottom up by the masses themselves, their actual 
participation in every step of practical life, their active role in the 
administration. To replace the old organs of oppression, the police, 
the bureaucracy, the standing army, by a general arming of the 
people, by an actually universal militia, this is the only way to 
guarantee the country a rrm-rimnm of security against the restora- 



ON PROLETARIAN MILITIA 231 

tion of a monarchy and to enable it to proceed, firmly, resolutely and 
with a clear plan, toward Socialism, not by means of "introducing" 
it from above but by elevating vast masses of proletarians and semi- 
proletarians to the art of state administration, to the use of the whole 
power of the state. 

Public service through a police elevated above the people and 
through bureaucrats, the most faithful servants of the bourgeoisie, 
through a standing army under the command of landowners and 
capitalists, this is the ideal of the bourgeois parliamentary republic 
in its aspiration to perpetuate the rule of capital. 

Public service through a really universal people's militia, com- 
posed of men and women, a militia capable partly of replacing the 
bureaucrats, all this combined with the electiveness and instant 
recall of all public officers, and with payment for their labour ac- 
cording to proletarian standards, not "master'Mike, not in bourgeois 
fashion, this is the ideal of the working class. 

This ideal has not only become a part of our programme, it has 
not only won a place in the history of the working class movement 
in Europe, namely, in the experience of the Paris Commune, it has 
not only been appreciated, emphasised, explained and recommended 
by Marx, but it was actually put into practice by the Russian 
workers in the years 1905 and 1917. 

The Soviets of Workers' Deputies, judging by their significance, 
and by the type of government they create, are institutions of pre- 
cisely that kind of democracy which sets aside the old organs of 
oppression, which follows the road of a universal militia. 

But how can we make the militia universal when the proletarians 
and semi-proletarians are herded in the factories, are crushed by 
unbearable labour for the landowners and the capitalists? 

There is only one way: The capitalists must pay for the militia. 
The capitalists must pay the workers for those hours and days 
which the proletarians devote to public service. 

This reliable method is being adopted by the working masses 
themselves. The example of the Nizhni Novgorod workers should 
be followed throughout Russia. 

Comrade-workers, urge upon the peasants and the rest of the 
people the necessity of creating a universal militia in place of the 
police and the old bureaucracy! Institute such and only such a 
militia! Bring it to life through the Soviets of Workers' Deputies, 
through the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies, through the organs of 



232 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

local self-government that fall into the hands of the working class. 
Under no circumstances be content with a bourgeois militia. Attract 
the women into public service on an equal footing with the men. 
See to it that the capitalists pay the workers for days devoted to 
public service and the militia! 

Learn the methods of democracy by actual practice, right now, 
all by yourselves, from the bottom, rouse the masses to an active, 
immediate, universal participation in government, this and only 
this will assure the full triumph of the revolution and its unswerv- 
ing, purposeful advance. 

Pravda, No. 36, May 3, 1917. 



COLLAPSE? 

WE have just been informed that the Executive Committee of the 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies received a note which our 
Provisional Government had communicated to all its Foreign Repre- 
sentatives. 145 

This note is apparently that very "statement" that Chkheidze had 
expected to be published in about three days and which was to con- 
tain definite pronouncements against annexations. 

But what has happened instead? 

The note contains a direct declaration of the Provisional Govern- 
ment to the effect that Russia will fight to the end, that Russia will 
not repudiate her obligations to the Allies. 

This note has had the effect of a bomb explosion. 

The majority of the Executive Committee, Chkheidze, Tsereteli, 
and others, are completely discomfited. The bankruptcy of the 
entire policy of "agreements" is obvious and it has come much 
sooner than we expected. 

The imperialist war will not be ended by palavers within the 
Contact Commission. . . . 

Prauda, No. 36, May 3, 1917. 



233 



THE NOTE OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT 

THE cards are on the table. We have good reason to be grateful 
to Messrs. Guchkov and Miliukov for their note appearing in to-day's 
papers. 

The majority of the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Work- 
ers' and Soldiers' Deputies, the Narodniks, Mensheviks, all those 
who have advocated confidence in the Provisional Government, are 
sufficiently punished. They hoped, expected and believed that the 
Provisional Government, under the influence of the beneficent "con- 
tact 9 * with Chkheidze, Skobelev, and Steklov, would forever repudi- 
ate annexations. It turned out somewhat differently. . . . 

In its note of April 18, the Provisional Government announces 
the "striving of all the people (!) to carry on the war to a decisive 
victory." 

"It is self-evident," adds the note, "that the Provisional Govern- 
ment . . . will fully meet our obligations to our Allies." 

Short and clear. War to a decisive victory. The alliance with 
the English and French bankers has been declared sacred. . . 

Who has concluded this alliance with "our" allies, i. e., with the 
Anglo-French billionaires? The Tsar, Rasputin, the Tsar's gang, 
of course. To Miliukov and Co., however, the treaty is sacred. 
Why? 

Some people say: Because Miliukov is insincere, is a trickster, 
etc. 

But this is not the point. The point is that Guchkov, Miliukov, 
Tereshchenko, Konovalov represent the capitalists. And the capi- 
talists need the seizure of foreign lands. They will get new markets, 
new places for the export of capital, new profitable jobs for tens 
of thousands of their sons, etc. The point is that at the present 
moment the interests of the Russian capitalists are identical with 
those of the English and the French capitalists. This, and this only, 
is the reason why the Tsar's treaties with the Anglo-French capitalists 
are so dear to the hearts of the Provisional Government of the 
Russian capitalists. 

The new note of the Provisional Government will add fuel to the 
fire. It will arouse yet more the belligerent spirit of Germany. It 

234 



THE NOTE OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT 235 

will help Wilhelm the Robber further to deceive "his" workers and 
soldiers and to lure them into a war "to the bitter end." 

The new note of the Provisional Government squarely places 
before us the question: What next? 

From the very first moment of our revolution, the English and 
French capitalists have been persuading us that the Russian Revo- 
lution was made for the one and only purpose, to continue the 
war "to the end." The capitalists are intent on robbing Turkey, 
Persia, China. If, in order to accomplish this purpose, it be nec- 
essary to slaughter another ten millions or so of Russian muzhiks, 
why worry? As long as we get a "decisive victory." . . . Now the 
Provisional Government has frankly adopted the same view. 

Fight because we want the spoils. 

Die, tens of thousands of you every day, because "we" have not 
yet fought the thing out to a finish, because we have not yet received 
our share of the loot! . . . 

No class-conscious worker, no class-conscious soldier will further 
support the policy of "confidence" in the Provisional Government. 
The policy of confidence is bankrupt. 

Our Social-Democratic city conference in its resolution W6 stated 
that each day would prove the correctness of our view. Yet even 
we did not expect such a rapid progress of events. 

The present Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies is given 
the choice: Either to swallow the pill offered by Guchkov and Miliu- 
kov, and this would mean that the Soviet has once for all given 
up its independent political role, and that to-morrow Miliukov, 
"his legs on the desk," would reduce the Soviet to a mere zero; 
or to reject Miliukov's note, and this would mean that the Soviet 
had broken with the old policy of confidence, and had entered upon 
the course suggested by the Pravda. 

There is, of course, the middle road to be taken, but for how long? 

Workers and Soldiers, declare openly: We demand that there be 
only one power the Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies. 
The Provisional Government, the government of a handful of capi- 
talists, must give way to the Soviets. 

Pravda, No. 37, May 4, 1917. 



ONE OF THE BASIC QUESTIONS 

REASONINGS OF THE SOCIALISTS WHO HAVE GONE OVER 
TO THE BOURGEOISIE 

MR. PLEKHANOV gives in this respect an excellent example. In 
his May First letter to "the association of Socialist students" which 
was published in to-day's Riech, Dielo Naroda, Yedinstvo, he 
writes: 14T 

... It (the International Socialist Congress of 1889) understood that the 
social, or more exactly the Socialist revolution presupposes prolonged educa- 
tional and organisational work within the working class. This has been for- 
gotten here hy people who summon the Russian labouring masses to seize 
political power, an act which would be logical only if the objective conditions 
necessary for a social revolution were present. These conditions are not yet 
present. . . . 

And so on, up to the call for "unanimous support'* of the Pro- 
visional Government. 

This argument of Mr. Plekhanov is most typical of a small group 
of "has-beens," who call themselves Social-Democrats. And just 
because it is typical it is worth analysing it fully. 

First of all, is it logical and is it fair to refer to the first Con- 
gress of the Second International, and not to the last one? 

The first Congress of the Second International (1889-1914) took 
place in 1889, the last in Basle, in 1912. The Basle Manifesto, 
which was unanimously adopted, speaks precisely, definitely, di- 
rectly, and clearly (so that even the Plekhanovs cannot garble it) of 
a proletarian r evolution, which, moreover, is considered in connec- 
tion with the very war which subsequently broke out (in 1914) . 

It is not difficult to understand why those Socialists who have 
gone over to the bourgeoisie, should "forget" either the entire 
Basle Manifesto, or this most important part of it. 

Secondly, the seizure of political power by "the Russian labouring 
masses," writes our author, would be logical only "if the objective 
conditions necessary for the social revolution were present." 

This is a hodgepodge, not a thought. 

Granting even that the word "social" is a misprint, and that the 

236 



ONE OF THE BASIC QUESTIONS 237 

word "Socialist" should be read instead, this is not the only thing 
that makes the statement a hodgepodge. What classes do the Rus- 
sian labouring masses consist of? Everybody knows that they con- 
sist of workers and peasants. Which of these classes is in the 
majority? The peasants. Who are the peasants as far as their 
class position is concerned? Petty proprietors. Question: If the 
petty proprietors constitute the majority of the population and if the 
objective conditions requisite for Socialism are lacking, then how- 
caw the majority of the population express itself in favour of So- 
cialism? Who can say anything or who says anything about estab- 
lishing Socialism against the will of the majority? 

Mr. Plekhanov got mixed up in the most ludicrous fashion at 
the very outset. 

To find oneself in a ridiculous position is small punishment for 
one who, like the capitalist press, conjures up an "opponent" of his 
own creation instead of honestly quoting the opinions of this or 
that of his actual political opponents. 

Furthermore. In whose hands should political power be placed, 
even from the point of view of such a commonplace bourgeois dem- 
ocrat as is the writer in the Riech? In the hands of the majority of 
the population. Do the "Russian labouring masses," so inaptly 
referred to by the. confused social-chauvinist, constitute the ma- 
jority of the people? Undoubtedly, the overwhelming majority! 

How then is it possible, if one is to remain true to democracy 
even in Miliukov's sense of the word to be opposed to the "seizure 
of political power" by the "Russian labouring masses"? 

The deeper we go, the greater the confusion. Each step in our 
analysis reveals new abysses of confusion in Mr. Plekhanov's ideas. 

The social-chauvinist is against the transfer of power to the 
majority of the population in Russia! 

Mr, Plekhanov is woefully misinformed. He has also confused, 
though Marx as far back as 1875 warned against such confusion, 
the "labouring masses" with the mass of proletarians and semi- 
proletarians. We shall explain the difference to the erstwhile 
Marxist, Mr. Plekhanov. 

Can the majority of the Russian peasantry demand and carry out 
the nationalisation of the land? Certainly it can. Would this be 
a Socialist revolution? No. That is still a bourgeois revolution, 
for the nationalisation of the land is a measure that is not incom- 
patible with the existence of capitalism. It is, at the same time, a 



238 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

Blow against private ownership of the most important means of 
production. Such a blow strengthens the proletarians and semi- 
proletarians immeasurably more than these were strengthened by 
the revolutions of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth cen- 
turies* 

Moreover. Can the majority of the Russian peasantry express 
itself in favour of consolidating all the banks into one, in favour 
of having in each village one branch of the national state bank? 

It can, because the conveniences and advantages resulting from 
such a measure would be unquestionable. Even the "defencists" 
might back up such a measure, for it would heighten enormously 
Russia's capacity for "defence." 

Is it economically possible immediately to bring about such a 
consolidation of all banks into one? It is, no doubt, fully possible. 
Would this be a Socialist measure? No, this would not be 
Socialism as yet. 

Again. Can the majority of the Russian peasantry express itself 
in favour of having the sugar syndicate pass into the hands of the 
government, to be controlled by the workers and peasants in order 
that the prices on sugar may be lowered? 
It surely can, for that would benefit the entire people. 
Is the measure economically possible? It is fully possible, for 
economically the sugar syndicate has already consolidated and grown 
into an industrial organism of national scope. Besides, it was al- 
ready subject to ''government" control (i. e., control by government 
officials, serving the capitalists) even under tsarism. 

Would the taking over of the syndicate by the democratic-bour- 
geois-peasant state be a Socialist measure? 

No, that would not be Socialism as yet. Mr. Plekhanov could 
easily convince himself of that, if he only recalled the universally 
known Marxian truths. 

We ask then: Would such measures as the consolidation of the 
banks and the turning over of the sugar syndicate into the hands 
of a democratic peasant government increase or decrease the import, 
the role, the influence of the proletarian and semi-proletarian ele- 
ments of the population? 

They would undoubtedly increase them, for those measures do 
not grow out of a system of petty production; they were made 
possible by those "objective conditions" which were not yet present 
in 1889, but which are already present now. 



ONE OF THE BASIC QUESTIONS 239 

Such measures would inevitably increase the import, the role, the 
influence upon the population of the workers, particularly the city 
workers, the vanguard of the proletarians and semi-proletarians of 
the city and the country. 

After these measures have been put into effect, further progress 
toward Socialism would become fully possible. With the aid of the 
more advanced and more prepared workers of Western Europe, 
once they break with their own Plekhanovs, the actual transition 
of Russia to Socialism will be inevitable, and the success of such 
transition assured. 

This is the line of reasoning to be pursued by every Marxist and 
Socialist who has not gone over to the camp of "his own" national 
bourgeoisie. 

Pravda, No. 37, May 4, 1917. 



WITH IKONS AGAINST CANNONS, WITH PHRASES 
AGAINST CAPITAL 

THE note of the Provisional Government on war to a victorious 
end has aroused the indignation even of those who had nourished 
illusory hopes for a possible renunciation of annexations on the 
part of the government of capitalists. The newspapers that have 
teen giving expression to this petty-bourgeois policy of illusory 
hopes, are to-day either grumbling in dismay as does the Rabochaia 
Gazeta, or are trying to vent their indignation on individuals. 

The Novaia Zhizn 14S writes : "There is no place in the govern- 
ment of democratic Russia for a champion of the interests of inter- 
national capital! We are certain that the Soviet will not fail to 
take the most energetic measures toward rendering Mr. Miliukov 
harmless." And the Dielo Naroda gives expression to the same 
middle-class wisdom in the following manner: Miliukov's note, it 
says, "is trying to reduce to nothing a declaration of the greatest 
international importance approved by the entire Cabinet." 

With ikons against cannons. With phrases against capital. The 
government's statement renouncing annexations was a piece of the 
most worthless diplomatic verbiage which could deceive a benighted 
peasant, which was able to "confuse" the leaders of the petty bour- 
geois parties, the Social-Democrats and the Socialists-Revolution- 
ists, the writers of the Novaia Zhizn and the Dielo Naroda, only 
because they wanted to be deceived ... * what empty phrases 
these: **There is no place in the government of democratic Russia 
for a champion of the interests of international capital! Is it not 
a shame that educated people should write such piffle?" 

The entire Provisional Government is the government of the 
capitalist class. The main thing is the class, not the individual. To 
attack Miliukov personally, to demand, directly or indirectly, his 
dismissal is silly, for no removal of individuals will change any- 
thing, until different classes are put in power. 

To maintain that the championing of capital is irreconcilable 

* An omission in the text. Ed. 

240 



WITH IKONS AGAINST CANNONS 241 

with the "democracy" of Russia, England, France, etc., is to sink to 
the level of the economic and political wisdom of a Gapon. 

It is pardonable for ignorant peasants to exact from the capi- 
talist "promises" to "live righteously" and not capitalistically, to 
demand that the capitalist cease "championing the interests of capi- 
tal." But for the leaders of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies, for the writers of the Novaia Zhizn and the 
Dielo Naroda to adopt such methods means to nourish the illusory 
hopes placed by the people in the capitalists, hopes that are most 
harmful and ruinous to the cause of freedom, to the cause of the 
revolution. 

Pravda, No. 37, May 4, 1917. 



THE LOGIC OF CITIZEN V. CHERNOV 

CITIZEN V. CHERNOV writes in the Dielo Naroda of April 29: 

He (Lenin) did not even think that, from his point of view, England's 
consent to his journey would have been better at least in this respect, that 
it would have been due to the pressure of the Russian Revolution, whereas 
Germany's consent may appear more suspicious as to motives. 149 

Conclusion: Lenin is somewhat of a maniac. 

Very well. But what about the thirty arrivals who belong to 
different parties, including the Bund? Are they all maniacs? Did 
they "not even think"? 

Furthermore: How about the telegram of Martov, Natanson (the 
leader of the Socialist-Revolutionist Party, mark you), Axelrod and 
others, which says: *'We declare that it is absolutely impossible to 
return to Russia via England"? (See Rabochaia Gazeta of 
April 28). 

Does it mean that both Martov and Natanson are maniacs, that 
they too "did not even think"? 

But they, these witnesses, do not belong to our party; but he, 
Natanson, is a witness belonging to V. Chernov's party, and they 
corroborate the fact that it was absolutely impossible to make the 
journey in any other way! 

The upshot? One or the other: Either V. Chernov is a queer 
fellow using phrases to avoid facts, or he has allowed himself to 
be frightened by middle-class-chauvinist slander and calumny to 
such an extent that he has lost his head. 

Pravda, No, 37, May 4, 1917. 



242 



MR. PLEKHANOV'S UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS AT 
EXTRICATING HIMSELF 

IN No. 15 of the Yedinstvo, Mr. Plekhanov, with an abundance 
of abuse unusual even for that mud-slinging publication, attacks 
the Pravda, in an attempt to hide two incontestably established facts. 

You shall not succeed in hiding them, Gentlemen! 

Fact number one. Mr. Plekhanov has failed to reprint both our 
report published in No. 32 of the Izvestia of the Petrograd Soviet 
of Workers 9 and Soldiers' Deputies of April 18, 1917, and the 
decision of the Executive Committee. 

This is not only an expression of Anarchist disrespect for the 
chosen representatives of the majority of soldiers, but it is the dis- 
honest method of a pogrom-maker. 

Fact number two. Mr. Plekhanov's baiting has called forth 
a protest not from us but from the Dielo Naroda in which Kerensky, 
the colleague of Guchkov and Miliukov, takes part. The Dielo 
Naroda of April 26, 1917, wrote of Mr. Plekhanov's Yedinstvo black 
on white: 

". . . Such words and such methods of struggle we have been 
accustomed to see on the pages of the Russkaia Volia* To see them 
employed in articles written by Socialists is, frankly speaking, pain- 
ful and depressing." 

This is the testimony of defencist witnesses who politically are a 
thousand times nearer to Mr. Plekhanov than to us. 

What sort of readers does Mr. Plekhanov count on when he dis- 
misses the testimony of a witness by saying that the Dielo Naroda 
has made an "inept remark"? 

The witness has exposed Mr. Plekhanov's pogrom-methods. 

There was a time when Mr. Plekhanov was a Socialist, now he 
has stooped to the level of the Russkaia Volia. 

No abuse will destroy the fact that even the Dielo Naroda has ex- 
posed Mr. Plekhanov. 

In a leading editorial reprinted in our paper on May 1, the 
Izvestia of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers* Deputies 

243 



244 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

(No. 43, April 30) branded this baiting as "dishonest and dis- 
gusting." 

This witness states openly that such dishonest and disgusting bait- 
ing by the dark forces and their newspapers was and is a fact. 
Mr. Plekhanov, fallen to the level of the Russkaia Volia, thus stands 
hopelessly condemned. 

Pravda, No. 37, May 4, 1917. 



A RESOLUTION OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE 
RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY 

MAY 4, 1917 15 

HAVING considered the situation developed in Petrograd since the 
issuance of the imperialist predatory note of the Provisional Gov- 
ernment of May 2, 1917, and taking cognisance of a series of 
popular demonstrations through meetings and parades on die streets 
of Petrograd on May 3, the Central Committee of the Russian So- 
cial-Democratic Labour Party decides on the following: 

1. Party agitators and speakers must refute the despicable lies of 
the capitalist papers and of the papers supporting the capitalists 
to the effect that we threaten with civil war. This is a despicable 
lie, for at the present moment, when the capitalists and their govern- 
ment cannot and dare not use violence against the masses, when 
the mass of soldiers and workers freely expresses its will, freely 
elects and replaces all public officers, at such a moment any 
thought of civil war is naive, senseless, monstrous; at such a 
moment there must be full compliance with the will of the majority 
of the population and free criticism of this will by the dissatisfied 
minority; should violence be resorted to, the responsibility will fall 
on the Provisional Government and its supporters. 

2. The government of the capitalists and its newspapers, fay their 
noisy denunciation of the alleged civil war, are only trying to con- 
ceal the reluctance of the capitalists, who admittedly constitute an 
insignificant minority of the people, to submit to the will of the 
majority. 

3. In order to learn the will of the majority of the population 
in Petrograd, where there is now gathered an unusually large num- 
ber of soldiers familiar with the sentiment of the peasants and 
correctly expressing it, it is necessary immediately to arrange for a 
popular vote to be taken in all the boroughs and suburbs of Petro- 
grad on the attitude towards the government's note, on the support 
of one or the other party, on the desirability of this or another 
Provisional Government. 

4. All party agitators, in factories, in regiments, in the streets, 

245 



246 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

etc., must advocate these views and this proposition by means of 
peaceful discussions and peaceful demonstrations, as well as meet- 
ings everywhere; we must endeavour to organise regular voting in 
the factories and the regiments, taking great care to preserve strict 
order and comradely discipline. 

5. The party agitators must protest over and over again against 
the contemptible slander manufactured by the capitalists to the 
effect that our party stands for a separate peace with Germany; 
in our eyes Wilhelm II is a crowned murderer deserving execution 
no less than Nicholas II, and the German Guchkovs, i. e., the Ger- 
man capitalists, are usurpers, robbers and imperialists no less than 
the Russian, English and all other capitalists; we are against nego- 
tiating with the capitalists, we are for negotiating and fraternising 
with the revolutionary workers and soldiers of all the countries; we 
are convinced that the government of Guchkov-Miliukov is trying 
to aggravate the situation because it knows full well that the prole- 
tarian revolution in Germany is beginning, and that that revolution 
will be a blow to the capitalists of all countries. 

6. The Provisional Government, when it disseminates rumours 
concerning complete and unavoidable economic ruin, is not only try- 
ing to frighten the people so that it may leave the power in the 
hands of this Provisional Government but is vaguely, indefinitely, 
fumblingly expressing that profound and indubitable truth that all 
the peoples of the world have been led into a blind alley, have 
been brought by the war for capitalist interests to the edge of an 
abyss and that there is actually no escape, except through the trans- 
fer of power to a revolutionary class, z. e., to the revolutionary prole- 
tariat that is capable of revolutionary action. 

If there are reserves of bread, etc., in the country, the new gov- 
ernment of workers and soldiers will know very well how to take 
care of them. And if the capitalist war has brought economic ruin 
to a point where there is no bread at all, then the government of the 
capitalists will only aggravate the situation instead of improving it. 

7. We regard the policies of the majority of the present leaders 
in the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies who are members 
of the Narodnik and Menshevik parties, to be deeply erroneous, for 
faith- in the Provisional Government, attempts at reconciliation with 
it, dickering with it over amendments, would in point of fact mean 
a multiplication of empty notes, of futile delays; and, moreover, 
this policy threatens to bring about a situation where the will of 



A RESOLUTION OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE 247 

the Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers* Deputies parts ways with the 
will of the majority of revolutionary soldiers at the front and in 
Petrograd and of the majority of workers. 

8. We call upon those workers and soldiers, who recognise that 
the Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers* Deputies must change its policy 
and must give up its policy of confidence in and agreement with 
the government of the capitalists, to hold new elections of delegates 
to the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies and to send there 
only such delegates as would steadfastly carry out a definite idea in 
conformity with the actual will of the majority. 

Pravda, No. 38, May 5, 1917. 



HONEST DEFENCISM REVEALS ITSELF 

EVENTS in Petrograd during the last few days, especially yester- 
day, prove how right we were when we pointed out the difference 
between the "honest" defencism of the masses and the defencism 
of the leaders and parlies. 

The mass of the population is composed of proletarians, semi- 
proletarians, and poor peasants. This is the overwhelming majority 
of the people. These classes are certainly not interested in annexa- 
tions; in an imperialist policy, in the profits of bank capital, in 
incomes from railroads in Persia, in fat jobs in Galicia and Armenia, 
in repressing the freedom of Finland, in all these things they 
(these classes) are not interested. 

But all this, taken together, is precisely what science and jour- 
nalism are agreed on calling imperialist, annexationist policy. 

The crux of the matter is this. The Guchkovs, the Miliukovs, 
and the Lvovs, even if they all were paragons of virtue, disinterested- 
ness, and love of their fellow-men, are, after all, the chosen repre- 
sentatives and leaders of the capitalist class, a class interested in 
a predatory annexationist policy. This class has invested billions 
"in the war." It is making hundreds of millions "out of the war" 
and annexations (. e. 9 out of forced subjugation, or incorporation 
of alien nationalities) . 

To hope that the capitalist class would "mend its ways," would 
cease being a capitalist class, would give up its profits, is a fatuous 
hope, an empty dream, and in practice a deception of the people. 
Only petty-bourgeois politicians, fluctuating between capitalist and 
proletarian policies, could cherish and support such fatuous hopes. 
This precisely is the error of the present leaders of the Narodnik 
parties and the Mensheviks, Chkheidze, Tsereteli, Chernov, etc. 

The mass representatives of defencism are not at all familiar with 
politics. They have had no opportunity to learn politics either 
from books, or from participation in the Duma, or from, carefully 
observing people engaged in politics. 

The mass representatives of defencism are still ignorant of the 
fact that wars are conducted by governments, that governments 

248 



HONEST DEFENCISM REVEALS ITSELF 249 

represent the interests of certain classes, that the present war is 
waged, on the part of either group of belligerent powers, by capital- 
ists for predatory interests and capitalist aims. 

Ignorant of all this, the mass representatives of defencism reason 
quite simply: We do not want annexations, they say, we demand 
a democratic peace, we do not want to fight for Constantinople, for 
the stifling of Persia, for the robbing of Turkey, etc.; we "demand" 
that the Provisional Government give up its policy of annexations. 

The mass representatives of defencism sincerely wish all this, not 
in a personal but in a class sense, because they speak for classes 
not interested in annexations. But these representatives of the 
masses do not know that the capitalists and their government may 
reject the policy of annexations in words, may "get off" with 
promises and pretty phrases, without actually abandoning annexa- 
tionist ideas. 

That is why the mass representatives of defencism were so vio 
lently and justly indignant over the Provisional Government's note 
of May 1. 

People acquainted with politics could not have been startled by 
this note, for they knew quite well that when the capitalists "re- 
nounce annexations" they do not really mean it. It is no more 
than the usual trick and a diplomatic phrase. 

But the honest, the mass representatives of defencism were amazed, 
indignant, furious. They felt they did not understand it quite 
clearly, but they felt that they had been tricked. 

This is the essence of the crisis and it should be clearly dis- 
tinguished from the opinions, expectations, and suppositions of 
single individuals and parties. 

To "stuff up" the yawning gap for a short time with a new 
declaration, a new note (this is what Mr. Plekhanov's advice in 
the Yedinstvo and the aspirations of the Miliukovs and Company 
on the one hand, Chkheidze and Tsereteli on the other, reduce 
themselves to) to "stuff up" the crack with a piece of paper is 
of course possible; nothing but harm, however, is likely to result 
A new piece of paper would inevitably mean a new deception, there- 
fore a new outburst of indignation. Should this outburst lack in 
intelligent orientation, it might easily become harmful. 

The masses should be told the truth. The government of the 
capitalists cannot reject annexations; it is caught in the meshes, 
it has no escape. It senses, it realises, it sees that without revo- 



250 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

lutionary measures (of which only a revolutionary class is capable) 
there is no salvation; and it shifts about, it is frantic, it promises 
one thing, does another, now it threatens the masses with violence 
(Guchkov and Shingarev), now it proposes that power be taken 
away from it. 

Economic ruin, crisis, horrors of war, an impasse from which 
there is no escape this is what all the peoples have come to under 
capitalist leadership. 

There is indeed no escape except through the transfer of power 
to the revolutionary class, to the revolutionary proletariat, which 
alone, supported by the majority of the population, is capable of 
aiding the revolution to victory in all the warring countries and 
leading humanity to permanent peace and liberation from the yoke 
of capitalism. 

Pravda, No. 38, May 5, 1917. 



INSANE CAPITALISTS OR FEEBLE-MINDED 
SOCIAL-DEMOCRATS 

THE Rabochaia Gazeta writes to-day: 

We have firmly opposed the fanning of civil war by Lenin's followers. 
But the signal for civil war is now given not by Lenin's followers but by the 
Provisional Government when it publishes a statement that makes mockery of 
democratic aspirations. This indeed is an insane step, and immediate and 
determined action by the Soviet of "Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies is needed 
if we would avert the dire consequences of this madness. ?- 61 

Is there anything more absurd and ridiculous than this fairy- 
tale about our "fanning civil war," when we have declared in the 
clearest, most formal and unequivocal language that the main bur- 
den of our work is the patient explaining of proletarian policy as 
opposed to the petty-bourgeois, defencist obsession of faith in the 
capitalists? 

Does the Rabochaia Gazeta really fail to understand that this howl 
about civil war is now raised by the capitalists in order to break 
the will of the majority of the people? 

Is there a grain of Marxism in branding the present conduct of the 
capitalists as "madness," when, caught in the vise of Russian and 
Anglo-French imperialistic capital, they cannot act otherwise? 

In to-day's Yedinstvo, Mr. Plekhanov voices even more openly 
the policy of the entire petty-bourgeois-defencist bloc when he calls 
upon the Soviet to come "to an agreement" with the Provisional 
Government. An amusing call. It is like serving mustard after 
dinner. 

But an agreement has been in existence for quite some time! 
It has existed ever since the beginning of the revolution! And the 
whole question of the present crisis is just this, that the agreement 
proved to be a scrap of paper, an empty promise! To answer the 
"accursed questions" now confronting the people in consequence 
of the failure of a given agreement by calling for an "agreement" 
in general, without stating its conditions or demanding real guaran- 
tees, to answer by sighing and crying "0 ye Madmen!" is this not 
a tragi-comedy of our petty-bourgeois Louis Blancs? (Louis Blanc 

251 



252 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

was a labour leader only in words, in reality he was trailing behind 
the bourgeoisie.) 

"Immediate and determined action ... is needed," importantly 
declares the Rabochaia Gazeta. What kind of "action," my dear 
fellow-citizens? You yourselves cannot tell this, you yourselves 
do not know, for all you do is declaim, because you, just like Louis 
Blanc, have really forgotten the class struggle, and, instead of the 
class struggle, have taken to petty-bourgeois phraseology and 
declamation. 

Pravda, No. 38, May 5, 1917. 



ADVICE OR ORDER OF SHINGAREV, AND ADVICE OF ONE 

LOCAL SOVIET OF WORKERS' AND SOLDIERS' 

DEPUTIES 

THE Petrograd Gazeta-Kopeika 2 for April 27 publishes the 
following communication: 

REQUISITION OF PRIVATELY OWNED LANDS 

Kishenev, April 26. 

In view of the fact that there is in that district a vast tract of unused 
land, not leased because of high rent, the Akkerman Soviet of Workers* and 
Soldiers' Deputies suggested to all village and volost committees, in case no 
voluntary agreements are possible, to requisition through the Commissar all 
unused privately-owned lands for planting. 

If this communication is true, it is exceedingly important. Ob- 
viously, the Akkerman Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies is 
actuated by practical considerations; it no doubt knows local con- 
ditions thoroughly and intimately. It calculates correctly that the 
area of cultivation must be increased at all costs, and to the highest 
limits. But how can it be done when the landowners have raised 
the rents to monstrous dimensions? 

Voluntary agreements with landowners? 

Minister Shingarev definitely advises this procedure from Petro- 
grad; he threatens the peasants, he vociferates against arbitrary 
measures. It is easy for Shingarev to argue from Petrograd. It is 
easy for him to defend the landowners in the name of the govern- 
ment of the capitalists. 

But how about the situation of the peasants locally? Does the, 
Akkerman Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies not appraise 
the situation much more correctly when it speaks of "voluntary 
agreements" as not being "possible"? 

Pravda, No. 38, May 5, 1917. 



253 



RESOLUTION OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE 
RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY 

ADOPTED IN THE MORNING OF MAY 5, 1917 

THE political crisis that developed May 2-4, should be considered, 
at least in its first stage, as having come to an end. 

The petty-bourgeois masses, angered by the capitalists, first drew 
away from them toward the workers; but a day later they again 
turned to the Menshevik and Narodnik leaders who are advocating 
"confidence" in and "agreement" with the capitalists. 

The above-mentioned leaders have accepted a compromise, com- 
pletely surrendering all their positions, and satisfying themselves 
with utterly futile, purely verbal capitalist promises. 

The causes of the crisis have not been removed, and the recur- 
rence of similar crises is inevitable. 

The root of the crisis is this, that the petty-bourgeois mass is 
vacillating between the age-old faith in the capitalists and bitterness 
against them, which means a desire to entrust themselves to the 
revolutionary proletariat. 

The capitalists are prolonging the war, drawing a veil of phrases 
over it. Only the revolutionary proletariat can and does bring 
about a termination of the war through a world-wide workers' 
revolution which is clearly discernible here, which is ripening in 
Germany, and which is drawing near in many other countries. 

Therefore, the slogan, * e Down with the Provisional Government," 
is at the present moment not sound, because such a slogan, unless 
there is a solid (i. e., a class-conscious and organised) majority 
of the people on the side of the revolutionary proletariat, is either 
a mere phrase, or, objectively, reduces itself to encouraging efforts 
of an adventurous nature. 

We shall come out in favour of the transfer of power into the 
hands of the proletarians and semi-proletarians, only when the 
Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies adopt our policy and 
are willing to take that power into their own hands. 

The organisation of our party, the consolidation of proletarian 
forces, have clearly proved inadequate in the days of crisis. 

254 



RESOLUTION OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE 255 

The slogans of the moment are: (1) Elucidation of the prole- 
tarian policy and the proletarian method of terminating the war; 
(2) criticism of the petty-bourgeois policy of confidence in and 
agreement with the capitalist government; (3) propaganda and agi- 
tation from group to group, within each regiment, in each factory, 
particularly amongst the most backward masses, servants, unskilled 
labourers, etc., for it is mostly on them that the bourgeoisie tried 
to base itself during the days of the crisis; (4) organisation, organi- 
sation and once more organisation of the proletariat: in each factory, 
in each district, in each block. 

The order issued by the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Sol- 
diers' Deputies on May 4, prohibiting all street meetings and dem- 
onstrations for two days, must be unconditionally obeyed by every 
member of our party. The Central Committee has since yesterday 
morning been distributing the printed resolution, published in 
to-day's Pravda, which stated that "at such a moment any thought 
of civil war is senseless and monstrous," that demonstrations, when 
they do occur, must be peaceful, and that all responsibility for 
violence rests upon the Provisional Government and its sup- 
porters.* That is why our party regards the entire above mentioned 
order of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies (and particu- 
larly the one prohibiting armed demonstrations and shooting into 
the air) to be wholly sound and deserving of unconditional 
obedience. 

We call upon all the workers and soldiers to weigh carefully 
the entire crisis of the last two days and to send as delegates to the 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies and to the Executive Com- 
mittee only those comrades who express the will of the majority. 
In all cases where a delegate does not express the opinion of the 
majority, it is necessary to hold new elections in the factories and 
the barracks. 

Pravda, No. 39, May 6, 1917. 
*See p. 245 of this book. Ed. 



LESSONS OF THE CRISIS 

PETROGRAD and the whole of Russia have gone through a serious 
political crisis, the first political crisis since the revolution. 

On May 1 the Provisional Government issued its notorious note, 
which confirmed the predatory aims of the war with such clarity 
that it was sufficient to arouse the indignation of the masses who 
had honestly believed in the desire (and ability) of the capitalists 
to "renounce the policy of annexations." On May 3 and 4 Petro- 
grad was astir. The streets were crowded with people; meetings 
of various sizes were held everywhere, day and night; mass mani- 
festations and demonstrations were going on uninterruptedly. Yes- 
terday, May 4, the crisis or, at any rate, the first stage of the crisis 
came to an end: the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers* 
and Soldiers' Deputies, and later the Soviet itself, declared that 
they were satisfied with the "explanations," amendments to the note 
and "elucidations" of the government (empty phrases that say abso- 
lutely nothing, change nothing, and commit one to nothing), and 
"the incident was closed." 

The future will show whether the masses will regard the "inci- 
dent as closed." The task before us now is carefully to examine 
the forces, the classes that revealed themselves in the crisis, and to 
draw therefrom lessons for the party of the proletariat. For it is 
the great significance of all crises that they unveil the hidden, 
cast aside the conventional, the superficial, the petty, sweep away 
the political rubbish, uncover the secret springs of the true class- 
struggle that is going on. 

As a matter of fact the capitalist government on May 1 merely 
reiterated its former declarations, which enveloped the imperialist 
war in a mist of equivocation. The soldier masses grew indignant, 
because they had honestly believed in the sincerity and pacific in- 
tentions of the capitalists. The demonstrations started as soldiers* 
demonstrations under a contradictory, unintelligent, leading-nowhere 
slogan, "Down with Miliukov" (as if a change in the personnel or 
cliques could change the essence of their policy) . 

That means that the broad, unstable, vacillating mass, which is 

256 



LESSONS OF THE CRISIS 257 

closest to the peasantry and petty-bourgeoisie by scientific class defi- 
nition, drew away from the capitalists toward the side of the revo- 
lutionary workers. It was this fluctuation or movement of the 
mass, whose strength was capable of settling everything, that created 
the crisis. 

Immediately a commotion started, people poured into the streets,, 
and began to organise; but those were not the middle, but the ex- 
treme elements; not the in-between petty-bourgeois mass, but the 
bourgeoisie and the proletariat. 

The bourgeoisie occupies the Nevsky in the expression of one* 
paper, the "Miliukovsky" Prospect and the adjacent sections of 
prosperous, bureaucratic, and capitalistic Petrograd. Officers, stu- 
dents, "the middle classes" parade for the Provisional Government. 
Among the slogans on the banners one often sees the inscription,. 
"Down with Lenin." 

The proletariat rises in its own quarters, in the workers* suburbs, 
it organises around the slogans and watchwords of the Central 
Committee of our party. On May 3 and 4, the Central Committee 
adopts resolutions which through the organisational apparatus are- 
directly passed on to the proletarian masses. The workers' pro- 
cessions fill the poorer and less central sections of the city, and 
later in separate groups they enter the Nevsky. The proletarian 
demonstrations are distinguished from the bourgeois ones by greater 
animation and mass character. Among the inscriptions on the ban- 
ners "All Power to the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies." 

It comes to a collision on the Nevsky. Banners of "enemy" pro- 
cessions are torn. The Executive Committee receives telephone mes- 
sages from various points that there is shooting on both sides, that 
there are killed and wounded; information, however, is exceedingly 
contradictory and unreliable. 

Fearing that the real masses, the actual majority of the people 
might seize power, the bourgeoisie expresses this fear by shouting 
about the "spectre of civil war." The petty-bourgeois leaders of 
the Soviet, the Mensheviks and Narodniks, lacking a definite party 
programme in the period after the revolution, and particularly in 
the days of the crisis, allow themselves to be intimidated. In the 
Executive Committee, which on the eve of the crisis was almost 
evenly divided between those who were for the Provisional Govern- 
ment and those against it, thirty-four ballots are cast (against nine- 



258 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

teen) for a return to the policy of confidence in the capitalists and 
agreement with them. 

The "incident" is declared "closed." 

What is the essence of the class struggle? The capitalists are 
for continuing the war, and for concealing their aims behind a 
smoke-screen of phrases and promises. They have become entangled 
in the nets of Russian, Anglo-French and American bank capital. 
The proletariat, through its class-conscious vanguard, stands for 
taking over of power by the revolutionary class, the working class 
and semi-proletarians, it stands for the development of a world- 
wide proletarian revolution which is clearly rising in Germany, 
it stands for the termination of the war through such a revolution. 

The broad mass, of a predominantly petty-bourgeois nature, still 
trusting its Narodnik and Menshevik leaders, intimidated by the 
bourgeoisie and actually carrying out the policy of the bourgeoisie, 
under various pretexts, is swinging now to the right, now to the 
left. 

War is terrible; it is the masses that feel it most keenly; it is 
among the masses that the realisation, as yet not very clear, is grow- 
ing that this war is criminal, that it is waged because of the rivalry 
and the scrambling among capitalists for the division of spoils. 
The international situation is becoming ever more entangled. There 
is no escape, except through an international proletarian revolution, 
which is now sweeping Russia, and which is already developing 
(strikes, fraternisation) in Germany. The masses fluctuate from 
faith in the old masters, the capitalists, to bitterness against them; 
from faith in the new class, the only consistently revolutionary class 
that is breaking a new path leading to a brighter life for the 
toilers, the proletariat, to a vague understanding of its world- 
wide historical role. 

This is not the first and not the last instance of indecision of the 
petty-bourgeois and the semi-proletarian masses! 

The lesson is clear, comrade- workers! Time does not wait. After 
the first crisis, others will follow. Consecrate all your strength 
to the cause of enlightening those who are lagging behind, creating 
direct comradely contact (not merely through meetings) with 
each regiment, with each group of toilers who are still in die dark! 
Devote all your strength to uniting your own forces, organising the 
workers from the ground up, taking in every borough, every factory, 
every block in the city and its suburbs! Do not be misled by petty- 



LESSONS OF THE CRISIS 259 

bourgeois "peace makers" who "reconcile" themselves to the capi- 
talists, by the defencist "supporters" of the Government's policies 
nor by individuals inclined to be hasty and to shout, "Down with 
the Provisional Government!" before the majority of the people are 
strongly united. Crises cannot be overcome by the violence of indi- 
viduals against other individuals, by partial risings of small groups 
of armed people, by Blanquist attempts to "seize power," to "arrest" 
the Provisional Government, etc. 

The slogan of the day is: Explain more carefully, more clearly, 
more broadly the proletarian policy, the proletarian method of 
terminating the war. Fall in line everywhere, strongly, numerously, 
fill the proletarian ranks and columns! Rally around your Soviets; 
use comradely suasion and re-election of individual members inside 
the Soviets to consolidate a majority around yourselves, 

Pravda, No. 39, May 6, 1917. 



HOW A SIMPLE QUESTION IS MUDDLED 

TO-DAY the Dien writes the following concerning the resolution 
adopted by the Central Committee on May 5 on the necessity of 
transferring power to the revolutionary proletariat "with the sup- 
port of the majority of the people": 

"Very simple, but in that case why hesitate? Instead of passing 
resolutions, why not come and take power?" 

Here is a typical example of the usual methods of the bourgeois 
press! People pretend not to understand the simplest thing, and 
easily prove themselves to be in the right on paper. Whoever 
advises to "take power," should, upon reflection, realise that, with- 
out the support of the majority of the people, the attempt to take 
power would be a questionable venture, a Blanquist act (the Pravda 
has taken special pains to warn against this, it did it conscien- 
tiously, clearly, precisely, unequivocally). 

In Russia we have now a degree of freedom that enables us to 
ascertain the will of the majority by the composition of the Soviet 
of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies. Therefore, the proletarian 
party, if it seriously wishes to gain power (not Blanquist fashion), 
must fight for influence within the Soviets. 

All this has been told, retold and explained over again by the 
Pravda, and only stupidity or malice can fail to grasp it. Let the 
reader judge for himself to which of the two contemptible categories 
the Rabochaia Gazeta belongs, when it brands the suggestion (made 
to the Soviet) "to take power into its own hands" as "irresponsible 
provocation," "demagogy, devoid of all sense of political respon- 
sibility, wantonly calling democracy to civil strife and war, inciting 
the workers and soldiers not only against the government but also 
against the Soviet itself. . . ." 

Can one imagine a worse muddle than this? Can demagogy go 
any further in putting the blame where it does not belong? 

Prime Minister Lvov, according to the report of the evening paper 
Birzhevya Viedomosti 15S of May 4, literally said the following: 

In the past the Provisional Government has met with the invariable sup- 
port of the leading organ of the Soviet of "Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. 

260 



HOW A SIMPLE QUESTION IS MUDDLED 261 

During the last two weeks these relations have changed. The Provisional 
Government is under suspicion. Under such circumstances the government is 
absolutely unable to govern the state, since in an atmosphere of distrust and 
disaffection it is difficult to do anything. Under such circumstances it is best 
for the Provisional Government to resign. It fully realises its responsibility 
to the Fatherland and for the sake of the country's welfare it is ready to 
resign forthwith, if this be necessary. 

Is this not clear? Is it possible not to understand why, after 
such a speech, our Central Committee suggested that the people 
be asked to express itself on the subject? 

What have "civil war," "provocation," "demagogy" and similar 
terrible words to do with the question, when the Prime Minister 
himself announces the government's readiness "to resign"??? 
When he himself has recognised the Soviets as the "leading 
organ"??? 

One or the other: Either the Rabochaia Gazeta assumes that Lvov, 
in making such or similar declarations is deceiving the people, 
then, instead of calling for confidence in and support of the govern- 
ment, it should urge a denial of confidence and a refusal of sup- 
port; or the Rabochaia Gazeta assumes that Lvov is indeed "ready 
to resign" then why all this howl about civil war? 

If the Rabochaia Gazeta has a true understanding of the situa- 
tion, and realises that the capitalists^ by raising the bugaboo of 
civil war, are covering up their desire to undo through the use of 
violence the will of the majority, then why does it make all this 
noise? 

Lvov has a right to suggest to the Soviet that it approve and 
accept his policy. Our party, on the other hand, has a right to 
suggest to the Soviet that it approve and accept our proletarian 
policy. To speak of "provocation" etc., is to reveal a dire lack of 
understanding of the whole matter or to stoop to the basest dema- 
gogy. We have a right to fight for, and are going to fight for 
influence and a majority in the Soviet and the Soviets. And we 
repeat: 

"We shall come out in favour of the transfer of power into the 
hands of the proletarians and semi-proletarians only when the 
Soviets of Workers 9 and Soldiers 9 Deputies adopt our policy and are 
willing to take that power into their own hands." 

Pravda, No. 39, May 6, 1917, 



"DISGRACE" AS UNDERSTOOD BY THE CAPITALISTS 
AND THE PROLETARIANS 

TO-DAY Yedinstvo prints on the first page in bold face type a 
proclamation signed by Plekhanov, Deutsch, and Zasulich. The 
proclamation reads in part: 

. . . Every people has a right freely to determine its own destiny. Wilhelm 
the German and Karl the Austrian will never agree to that. In waging war 
against them, we are defending our own freedom, as well as the freedom of 
others. Russia cannot betray her Allies. That would bring disgrace upon 
her. . . . 15 * 

Thus reason all the capitalists. They regard it as a disgrace not 
to live up to treaties entered into by capitalists, just as monarchs 
regard it as a disgrace not to live up to treaties concluded by mon- 
archs. 

And what about the workers? Do they regard it a disgrace not 
to live up to treaties concluded by monarchs and capitalists? 

Of course not! Class-conscious workers stand for the abrogation 
of all such treaties, for the recognition of only such agreements 
entered into by the workers and soldiers of all the countries, as 
would benefit the people, i. e., not the capitalists, but the workers 
and poorest peasants. 

The workers of the world have a treaty of their own, namely, the 
Basle Manifesto of 1912 (signed also by Plekhanov and betrayed 
by him). This workers' "treaty" regards it as a "crime" when 
workers of different countries fire at each other for the sake of capi- 
talists* profits. 

The writers in the Yedinstvo reason like capitalists (the Riech 
and the others reason similarly), and not like workers. 

It is perfectly true that neither the German monarch nor the 
Austrian monarch will agree to the freedom of any people, for both 
these monarchs are crowned murderers, just as was Nicholas II. 
But, first of all, the English, the Italian, and the other monarchs 
("Allies" of Nicholas II) are not a whit better. To forget it is to 
become a monarchist or a defender of the monarchists. 

262 



"DISGRACE" AS UNDERSTOOD BY CAPITALISTS 263 

And secondly, the uncrowned murderers, i. e. 9 the capitalists, 
have shown themselves in the present war to be in no way better 
than the Monarchs. Has not American "democracy," i. e. 9 the 
democratic capitalists, robbed the Philippines, and does it not rob 
Mexico? 

The German Guchkovs and Miliukovs, were they to replace Wil- 
helm II, would also be murderers, in no way better than the English 
and the Russian capitalists. 

Thirdly, will the Russian capitalists "agree" to the "freedom" 
of peoples which they themselves oppress : Armenia, Khiva, Ukraine, 
Finland? 

By evading this question the writers in the Yedinstvo are actually 
turning into defenders of "our" capitalists and their predatory war 
upon other capitalists. 

The internationalist workers of the world stand for the overthrow 
of all capitalist governments, for a refusal to come to agreements 
and sign treaties with any capitalists, for universal peace concluded 
by the revolutionary workers of all the countries, a peace actually 
capable of securing the freedom of every people. 

Pravda, No. 39, May 6, 1917, 



INTERVIEW WITH E. TORNIAINEN, MAY 6, 1917 166 

WE think that the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies at the present moment represents the majority of the 
workers and soldiers. In so far as we (Bolsheviks) are concerned, 
we are contending for influence and a majority in the Petrograd 
Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies as well as in all the local 
Soviets. We propose that the workers and soldiers hold new elec- 
tions of members of the Soviets in cases where the delegates are 
not fully responsive to the will of the majority. 

So far the majority of the Soviets follows the Narodnik and 
Menshevik leaders. 

We have no doubt that the Soviet will be able to retain power 
should it be supported by a considerable and strong majority of 
workers and soldiers. The more so since that power, instead of 
protracting the war, would bring about its speedy termination on 
terms most favourable to the masses of the people. We also think 
that the Soviet, being an institution elected by the workers and 
soldiers, can no doubt draw to its side an overwhelming majority 
of workers and soldiers. 

Whether or not the capitalist government will be able to refuse 
to convoke the Constituent Assembly, will depend upon the devel- 
opment and the strength of the counter-revolution. The elements 
of such a counter-revolution are no doubt already in existence. 

The termination of the war by a truly democratic peace depends 
upon the course of the revolution of the world proletariat. This 
revolution already occupies a favourable position in Russia, and it 
surely is developing in Germany (mass strikes, fraternisation) . 

Tyomies, May 8, 1917. 



264 



FOOLISH MALICIOUS GLEE 

THE Rabochaia Gazeta is jubilant; it fairly jumps with malicious 
glee over the latest resolution of the Central Committee which (in 
connection, be it noted, with a declaration of the representatives 
of the Bolshevik fraction of the Soviets already published) has 
revealed certain disagreements within our party. 156 

Let the Mensheviks be jubilant and jump with malicious glee. 
It does not perturb us in the least. After all, the Mensheviks have 
no organisation whatever, Chkheidze and Tsereteli are one thing, 
they are Ministers without portfolios; the Organisation Committee is 
another thing, they are Social-Democrats without a policy; the "de- 
fencists" are a third thing, they are for Plekhanov. Martov is a 
fourth thing, he is opposed to the Loan. Is there any wonder that 
people who have neither an organisation nor a party, lightheartedly 
jump and rejoice when they discover a defect in somebody else's 
organisation? 

We have no reason to fear the truth. Yes, comrade-workers, the 
crisis has revealed certain flaws in our organisation. Let us work, 
then, to correct them! 

The crisis revealed a very feeble attempt to move in a direction 
"slightly more to the Left" than the Central Committee, 157 Our Cen- 
tral Committee did not yield, and we do not doubt for a moment 
that harmony within our party is already being restored, a harmony 
that is voluntary, intelligent, and complete. 

Every day proves the soundness of our policy. For a successful 
carrying out of this policy we need an organisation of the prole- 
tarian masses three times as good as the present one. Each district, 
each block, each factory, each military company must have a power- 
ful, closely-knit organisation capable of acting as one man. Ties 
must connect each such organisation directly with the centre, with 
the Central Committee; those ties must be strong, so that the enemy 
may not break them with the first blow; those ties must be per- 
manent, must be strengthened and tested every day and every hour, 
so that the enemy does not catch us unawares. 

Comrade- workers! Let us build from the bottom up, everywhere, 

265 



266 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

a powerful proletarian mass organisation both among the working 
masses and in the army; let us start immediately. Let us not be 
perturbed by the malice of our enemies, let us not fear occasional 
errors and defects. We shall correct them. The future is ours. 

Prawfc, No, 40, May 8, 1917. 



DRAFT OF THESES FOR A RESOLUTION ON 
THE SOVIETS 158 

IN many local centres, particularly workers' centres, the role 
played by the Soviets has proved particularly important. They 
have become the sole ruling power; the bourgeoisie has been com- 
pletely disarmed and reduced to unqualified submission; wages have 
been increased, the working day has been shortened, while produc- 
tion has not been decreased; supplies have been made secure, con- 
trol over production and distribution has been established; all the 
old organs of power have been removed; revolutionary initiative 
of the peasants in the matter of government (removal of old and 
establishment of new organs of power) as well as in the matter 
of land is encouraged. 

In the capital and in a few large centres the reverse may be 
observed: the composition of the Soviets is less proletarian; in the 
Executive Committees the influence of the petty-bourgeois element 
is considerably greater, also and particularly in the commissions 
there prevails the policy of "co-operation with the bourgeoisie," 
which interferes with the revolutionary initiative of the masses, 
bureaucratises the revolutionary movement of the masses and their 
revolutionary tasks, hampers every revolutionary measure that is 
likely to "affect" the capitalists. 

It is quite natural and inevitable that after the greatest develop- 
ment of revolutionary energy in the capital, where the people and 
particularly the workers made the greatest sacrifices in order to 
overthrow tsarism, where the central state power was overthrown 
and the most centralised forces of capital gave a maximum of 
power to the capitalists, the power of the Soviets (and the power 
of the proletariat) should have proved inadequate, the task of 
further developing the revolution particularly difficult, transition to 
the next higher phase of the revolution especially hard, and re- 
sistance of the bourgeoisie stronger than anywhere else. 

It follows that while in the capital and the largest centres all 
efforts should be directed mainly toward preparing the forces for 

267 



268 ON THE EVE OF THE APRIL CONFERENCE 

the completion of the second stage of the revolution, locally we can 
and must directly move the revolution onward, by concentrating all 
power in the hands of the Soviets of Workers' Deputies, by devel- 
oping the revolutionary energy of the worker and peasant masses, 
by establishing control over the production and distribution of 
products, etc. 

The following course of the revolution has become evident: 
(1) Removal of the old power in the centre; (2) seizure of power 
by the bourgeoisie, the proletariat not being prepared to handle the 
gigantic general problems of state; (3) spread of the revolution 
locally; (4) local communes, particularly in workers' centres, 
and development of revolutionary energy of the masses; (5) con- 
fiscation of the land, etc.; (6) control over the factories; (7) single 
power; (8) local, municipal revolution in progress; (9) bureaucra- 
tisation, submission to the bourgeoisie in the centre. 

Conclusions: (1) Preparatory work in the centre (preparation 
of forces for the new revolution) ; (2) move the revolution forward 
(power? land? factories?) locally; (3) local communes, i.e., com- 
plete local autonomy; local initiative; no police, no bureaucracy, 
all power to the armed worker and peasant masses; (4) struggle 
against the bureaucratising and bourgeois-pacifying influence of the 
petty-bourgeois elements; (5) utilisation of local experience to push 
the centre; local institutions serving as models; (6) explain to 
the masses of workers, soldiers, and peasants that the reason for the 
success of the revolution locally is concentration of power and dic- 
tatorship of the proletariat; (7) of course, at the centre this will be 
more difficult, and will require time; (8) development of the revo- 
lution through communes, formed in the suburbs and blocks of large 
cities; (9) in capitals, etc., they are turning into "satellites of the 
bourgeoisie." 

Written May 7-8, 1917. 

First published in the Lemn Collection, IV, 1925. 



THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL [MAY] CONFERENCE OF 
THE RUSSIAN SOCIALDEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY 

FROM MAY 7 TO MAY 12, 1917 1W 



First published in 1925 in The Petrograd City 
Conference and the All-Russian Conference of 
the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Forty, 
April [May], 1917. (In Russian.) 



/^4-^,* .*.* 




Facsimile of the Firgt Page of Lenin's Article, "To the Soldiers and 
Sailors," April, 1917 (see p. 183). 



THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL [MAY] CONFERENCE OF 
THE RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR PARTY 



SPEECH DELIVERED AT THE OPENING OF THE 
CONFERENCE ON MAY 7, 1917 

COMRADES: In the midst of the Russian Revolution and a devel- 
oping international revolution, we have assembled here as the first 
conference of the proletarian party. The time is approaching when 
the assertion of the founders of scientific Socialism, as well as the 
unanimous forecast of the Socialists gathered at the Basle Congress, 
to the effect that World War would inevitably lead to revolution is 
being proven correct everywhere. 

In the nineteenth century Marx and Engels, observing the pro- 
letarian movement in various countries and analysing the possible 
prospects for a social revolution, repeatedly asserted that the roles 
would, in general, be distributed among the various countries in 
proportion to, and in accord with, the national historic peculiarities 
of each of them. Briefly formulated, they expressed their idea in 
this way: The French worker will begin, the German will finish. 

The great honour of beginning the revolution has fallen to the 
Russian proletariat. The Russian proletariat must not forget, how- 
ever, that its movement and revolution are only part of a world- 
wide revolutionary proletarian movement, which in Germany, for 
example, is gaining momentum with every passing day. Only from 
this angle can we define our tasks. 

I declare the All-Russian Conference open. The election of a 
Presidium is in order. 

II 

REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION, MAY 7, 1917 

COMRADES : In evaluating the present moment I am forced to deal 
with an exceedingly broad subject. To my mind, this subject falls 
into three parts: first, the estimate of the political situation proper, 

271 



272 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

here in Russia, our relation to the government and to the dual power 
that has come into existence; second, our stand on the war; third, 
the international situation of the working class movement, a situa- 
tion which has put the workers of the world face to face with a 
Socialist revolution. 

Some of the points require, I think, only brief discussion. Be- 
sides, I am going to offer to this Conference a draft of a resolution 
covering all these questions. But I may as well tell you that because 
of the extreme lack of forces at our disposal, as well as because 
of the political crisis that had been created here, in Petrograd, we 
were unable either to have preliminary discussions of the resolu- 
tion, or to communicate it in advance to the local comrades. I 
repeat, then, these are only tentative projects, calculated to lighten 
the labour of the commission and to enable it to concentrate on a 
few of the most essential questions. 

I begin with the first question. If I am not mistaken, the Moscow 
Conference adopted the same resolution as the Petrograd City Con- 
ference (Voices: "With amendments") . I have not seen the amend- 
ments, and I cannot say anything about them. But since the Petro- 
grad resolution was published in the Soldatskaia Pravda 16 , I take 
it for granted, if there are no objections, that it is known to every- 
body here. I submit this resolution, as a tentative one, to the 
present All-Russian Conference. 

The majority of the parties in the petty-bourgeois bloc dominat- 
ing the Petrograd Soviet picture our policy, as distinguished from 
their own, as a rapid-fire policy. What really distinguishes our 
policy is the fact that we demand above everything else a precise 
class characterisation of current events. The fundamental sin of the 
petty-bourgeois bloc is that it resorts to phrases to conceal from 
the people the truth about the class character of the government. 

If the Moscow comrades have any amendments to make, they may 
read them now. 

(Reads the resolution of the Petrograd City Conference on the 
attitude toward the Provisional Government.) 

"Whereas: (1) The Provisional Government, by its class character, is the 
organ of landowner and bourgeois domination; and, 

Whereas: (2) The Provisional Government and the classes it represents 
are bound with indissoluble economic and political ties to Russian and Anglo- 
French imperialism; and, 

Whereas: (3) The Provisional Government does not fully cany out even 
the programme which it has promulgated, and when it does, it is only because 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 273 

of the pressure of the revolutionary proletariat and, partly, the petty bour- 
geoisie; and, 

Whereas: (4) The forces of the bourgeois and feudal counter-revolution, 
now in the process of organisation, have already, under the cover of the 
Provisional Government, and with its ohvious encouragement, launched an 
attack on revolutionary democracy; and, 

Whereas: (5) The Provisional Government is postponing the calling of 
elections to the Constituent Assembly, is interfering with the general arming 
of the people, is opposing the transfer of the land to the people, is foisting 
upon it the landowner's way of settling the agrarian question, is blocking the 
introduction of an eight-hour workday, is condoning counter-revolutionary 
propaganda in the army by Guchkov and Co., is organising the high com- 
manding officers of the army against the soldiers, etc. . . . 

I have read the first part of the resolution containing a class 
characterisation of the Provisional Government. As far as one is 
able to judge from the text of the resolution, the differences between 
this and the resolution of the Moscow comrades are hardly essential. 
Still, the general characterisation of the Provisional Government as 
counter-revolutionary is, in my opinion, incorrect. If we speak in 
general, we must specify which revolution we mean. From the 
standpoint of the bourgeois revolution, this cannot be said; for the 
bourgeois revolution has already been completed. From the stand- 
point of the proletarian and peasant revolution, such a statement 
is premature, for we cannot at all be sure that the peasants will 
necessarily advance farther than the bourgeoisie. To express our 
confidence in the peasantry, particularly now that it has turned to 
imperialism and def encism, i. e. 9 to supporting the war, is in my judg- 
ment unsound. At the present moment the peasantry has entered 
into a number of agreements with the Cadets. That is why I regard 
this point in the Moscow resolution as politically incorrect. We 
want the peasants to advance farther than the bourgeoisie, we want 
them to take the land from the landowners, but so far we can say 
nothing definite about their future conduct. 

We carefully avoid the words "revolutionary democracy." When 
we speak of a government attack, we may use this expression. At 
the present moment, however, this expression covers a huge lie, for 
it is very difficult to distinguish the classes that have become blended 
in this chaos. Our task is to free those that are trailing behind. 
The Soviets are important for us not as a form; rather is it impor- 
tant to see what classes the Soviets represent. We must therefore 
do a great deal of work to clarify the class consciousness of the 
proletariat. . . . 



274 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

(Resumes the reading of the resolution.) 

Whereas: (6) The government, while doing this, is relying at the present 
moment on the confidence and, to a certain extent, on the actual consent of 
the Petrograd Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies, which now com- 
prises an undoubted majority of workers and soldiers, i. e., peasants; and, 

Whereas: (7) Each step made by the Provisional Government, both in the 
realm of its domestic and foreign policies, is bound to open the eyes not only 
of the city and village proletarians and semi-proletarians, but also of the 
petty bourgeoisie, to the real nature of this government; 

The Conference resolves that: 

(1) In order to accomplish the passing of the state power into the hands 
of the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies or of other organs that are 
the direct expression of the will of the people, it is necessary to do extensive 
work in clarifying proletarian class consciousness and in uniting the city and 
village proletarians against petty-bourgeois vacillation, for it is only work of 
this nature that will assure the successful advance of the whole revolutionary 
people; and that 

(2) Such work requires comprehensive activity within the Soviets of 
Workers* and Soldiers* Deputies, an increase in the number of Soviets, an 
increase in their power, a welding together, within the Soviets, of the prole- 
tarian internationalist groups of our party; and 

(3) We must organise more effectively our Social-Democratic forces, in 
order that we may direct the new wave of the revolutionary movement under 
the banner of revolutionary Social-Democracy. 

Here is the crux of our policy. The whole petty bourgeoisie is 
wavering at present and trying to conceal this wavering under the 
phrase "revolutionary democracy." We must contrast these waver- 
ings with a proletarian line. The counter-revolutionists wish to 
frustrate it through premature action. Our task is to increase the 
number of Soviets, to increase their strength, to solidify the unity of 
our party. 

The Moscow comrades have added to Point 3 the demand for 
control. This control is represented by Chkheidze, Tsereteli, Steklov, 
and other leaders of the petty-bourgeois bloc. Control without 
power is one of the emptiest phrases. How can I control England? 
To control her, one must seize her fleet. I can see how the unedu- 
cated mass of workers and soldiers may naively and unintelligently 
believe in control. It is sufficient, however, to ponder a while over 
the fundamental aspects of control to realise that such a belief 
constitutes a complete abandonment of the basic principles of class- 
struggle. What is control? If I write a scrap of paper, a reso- 
lution, they will write a counter-resolution. To control, one must 
have power. If the broad masses in the petty-bourgeois bloc do 
not understand this, we must have the patience to explain it to 
them, but under no circumstances must we tell them an untruth. 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 275 

If, however, I obscure this fundamental issue by merely speaking 
of control, then I am guilty of telling an untruth and am playing 
into the hands of the capitalists and the imperialists. "You may 
do all the controlling you want, but it is we who have the guns. 
We'll let you be satisfied with your control," they say. They know 
that at the present moment the people cannot be denied anything. 
Control without power is a petty-bourgeois phrase that blocks the 
march and development of the Russian Revolution. That is why I 
object to the third point of the Moscow comrades. 

As regards the unique tangle of two powers, whereby the Pro- 
visional Government, devoid of power, guns, soldiers, and armed 
masses of people, leans on the Soviets, and whereby the Soviets, 
relying thus far on promises, are carrying out a policy of sustain- 
ing those promises well, if you insist on participating in this 
game, you are doomed to failure. It is not for us to take part 
in this game. We shall keep up our work of explaining to the 
proletariat the unsoundness of such a policy, and day by day life 
itself will prove the correctness of our position. So far we are in 
the minority; the masses do not trust us yet. We can wait; they 
will side with us when the Government reveals its true nature. The 
vacillation of the government may repel them, then they will rush 
to our side; then, taking account of the new correlation of forces, 
we shall say: Our time has come. 

I now pass on to the question of war. It is this question that 
actually united us, when we took a stand against the Loan. It is 
the attitude on this question that showed immediately and clearly 
the alignment of political forces. As the Riech has stated, every- 
body, except the Yedinstvo, is wavering; the petty-bourgeois mass 
is all for the Loan with reservations. The capitalists make a sour 
face, they snickeringly pocket the resolution, saying: "You may 
do the talking, but we will do the acting." All those now voting 
for the Loan are known as social-chauvinists the world over. 

I will now proceed to read the resolution on the war. It con- 
sists of three parts: First, characterisation of the war from the stand- 
point of its class significance; second, the revolutionary defencism 
of the masses, something that cannot be found in any country; 
third, how to end the war. 

Many of us, myself included, have had occasion to address the 
people, particularly the soldiers, and it seems to me that even when 
everything is explained to them from the point of view of class 



276 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

interests, there is still one thing in our position that they cannot 
fully grasp, namely, in what way we intend to finish the war, in 
what way we think it possible to bring the war to an end. The 
masses are in a maze of misapprehension, there is an absolute lack 
of understanding as to our stand, that is why we must be particularly 
clear in this case. 

(Reads the draft of the resolution on the war.) 

The present war is, on the part of both belligerent groups, an imperialist 
war, i. e. 9 it is waged by capitalists for domination over the world, for the 
division of spoils by capitalists, for profitable markets for finance and bank 
capita], and for the strangulation of weak nationalities. 

The passing of state power in Russia from Nicholas II to the government 
of Guchkov, Lvov and others, to the government of the landowners and capi- 
talists, did not and could not alter this class character and meaning of Russia's 
participation in the war. 

The fact that the new government is carrying on the same imperialist, i. e. 9 
grabbing, predatory war, became particularly apparent when the government 
not only failed to publish the secret treaties concluded between the late Tsar 
Nicholas II and the capitalist governments of England, France, etc., but 
formally confirmed these treaties. This was done without consulting the will 
of the people and with the clear purpose of deceiving it, for it is well known 
that the treaties concluded by the late Tsar are predatory through and through, 
that they promise the Russian capitalists freedom to rob China, Persia, Turkey, 
Austria, etc. 

For this reason a proletarian party can support neither the present war, nor 
the present government, nor its loans, no matter in what glowing terms the 
loans may be spoken of, unless our party break completely with internation- 
alism, i. e^ with the fraternal solidarity of the workers of all lands in their 
struggle against the yoke of capital. 

Nor can confidence be placed in the promise of the present government to 
renounce annexations, z. e., conquest of foreign countries, or in the promise 
to renounce forcible retention within the confines of Russia of this or that 
nationality. 

For, in the first place, the capitalists, bound by thousands of threads of 
Russian and Anglo-French bank capital, and intent on protecting the interests 
of capital, cannot renounce annexations in the present war without at the 
same time ceasing to be capitalists, without renouncing the profits on the 
billions invested in loans, in concessions, in war industries, etc. And, in the 
second place, the new government, having renounced annexations in order 
to deceive the people, declared through Miliukov (Moscow, April 22, 1917), 
that it had no intentions of renouncing annexations. Finally, according to an 
expose in the Dielo Naroda, a newspaper published with the collaboration 
of Minister Kerensky, Miliukov has not even sent abroad his statement con- 
cerning the renunciation of annexations. 

In warning the people against the empty promises of the capitalists, the 
conference therefore declares that it is necessary to distinguish sharply between 
a renunciation of annexations in words, and a renunciation of annexations 
in deed, Le^ the immediate publication of all the secret, predatory treaties, 
of all notes and documents pertaining to foreign policy, and the taking of 
immediate steps to free all the peoples which the capitalist class, continuing 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 277 

the disgraceful policy of the late Tsar Nicholas II, oppresses, forcibly keeps 
hound to Russia, or keeps in a state of subjection. 

The second half of this part of the resolution deals with the 
promises made by the government. Perhaps for a Marxist this part 
would be superfluous; for the people, however, it is important. 
We therefore ought to add our reason why we have no faith in 
those promises, why we should not trust the government. The 
present government's promises to abandon its imperialist policy 
deserve no credence. Our policy in this case should not be merely 
to demand that the government publish the treaties. This would 
be a vain hope. To demand this of a capitalist government would 
be equivalent to demanding that it expose commercial swindling. 
Since we maintain that it is necessary to renounce annexations and 
indemnities, we ought to indicate how this can be done; and if 
we are asked who can do it, our answer is that since the remedy is by 
its very nature a revolutionary one, it is only the revolutionary 
proletariat that can apply it. Otherwise these promises will remain 
empty pledges and wishes whereby the capitalists deceive the people. 

(Continues reading the draft of the resolution.) 

The so-called "revolutionary defencism" which in Russia has permeated 
all the Narodnik parties (People's Socialists, Trudoviks, Socialists-Revolu- 
tionists), as well as the opportunist party of the Social-Democratic Mensheviks 
(0. C., Chkheidze, Tsereteli, etc.), and the majority of the unaffiliated revo- 
lutionists, represents, hy its class character, on the one hand the interests 
and the standpoint of the petty bourgeoisie, the petty proprietors, and the 
wealthier peasants, who, like the capitalists, profit hy oppressing weak peoples; 
on the other hand, it is the outcome of the deception of the masses hy the 
capitalists, who refuse to make public the secret treaties and who try to get 
off with promises and rhetoric. 

We are bound to admit that a very great number among the "revolutionary 
defencists" are honest, L e^ they are honestly opposed to annexations, to con- 
quests, to doing; violence to weak peoples ; they are honestly striving to attain 
a democratic and non-oppressive peace among all the belligerents. This cannot 
be denied for the reason that the class position of the proletarians and the 
semi-proletarians of city and village (i. e., of the people who earn their liveli- 
hood, wholly or partly, by selling their labour power to the capitalists) renders 
these classes indifferent to the profits of the capitalists. 

Therefore, the conference, recognising any concessions to "revolutionary 
defencism" as absolutely not permissible and as actually signifying a complete 
break with internationalism and Socialism, declares at the same time that so 
long as the Russian capitalists and their Provisional Government confine 
themselves to threats of violence against the people (for example, Gucnkov's 
notorious decree threatening the soldiers with punishment for arbitrary removal 
of superiors), as long as the capitalists have not started the use of violence 
against the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers*, Peasants*, Agricultural Workers', 
and other Deputies which organise themselves freely, elect and remove all 



278 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

public officers freely, so long will our party preach general abstention from 
violence, at the same time fighting solely by means of comradely persuasion 
against the deep and fatal error of "revolutionary defencism," emphasising the 
truth that the attitude of uncritical confidence in the government of the 
capitalists, the bitterest enemies of peace and Socialism, is, in present-day 
Russia, the greatest obstacle to a speedy conclusion of the war. 

A section of the petty bourgeoisie is interested, no doubt, in this 
policy of the capitalists. This is the reason why the proletarian 
party at present must not place any hopes on the community of 
interests of the proletariat and the peasantry. We are striving to 
win the peasantry over to our side; the peasantry, however, is more 
or less consciously on the side of the capitalists. 

We have no doubt that, as a class, the proletariat and semi- 
proletariat are not interested in the war. They are influenced by 
tradition and deception. They still lack political experience. 
Therefore, our task is patient explaining. Our principles remain 
intact, we do not make the slightest compromise; yet we cannot ap- 
proach those masses as we approach the social-chauvinists. Those 
elements of our population have never been Socialists, they have 
not the slightest conception of Socialism, they are just awakening 
to political life. But their class-consciousness is growing and broad- 
ening with extraordinary rapidity. One must know how to approach 
them with explanations, and this is now the most difficult task, par- 
ticularly for a party that but yesterday was underground. 

Some may ask: Have we not repudiated our own principles? 

We have been advocating the turning of the imperialist war into 

civil war, and now we have reversed ourselves. We must bear 

in mind, however, that the first civil war in Russia has come to 

an end; we are now advancing toward the second war, the war 

between imperialism and the armed people. In this transitional 

period, as long as the armed force is in the hands of the soldiers, 

as long as Miliukov and Guchkov have not resorted to violence, 

this civil war turns for us into peaceful, extensive, and patient 

class propaganda. To speak of civil war before people have come 

to realise the need of it, is undoubtedly to fall into Blanquism. 

We are for civil war, but for civil war waged by a class-conscious 

proletariat. Only he can be overthrown who is known to the people 

as a despot. There are no despots in Russia at the present moment; 

it is the soldiers and not the capitalists who are in possession of the 

guns and cannons; the capitalists are in power not by force but by 

deception, and to speak of violence now is pure nonsense. One 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 279 

must know how to look from the Marxist standpoint which says 
that the imperialist war will turn into civil war as a result of ob- 
jective conditions, and not as a result of subjective desires. For 
the time being we lay aside this slogan, but only for the time being. 
It is the soldiers and the workers who are in possession of the arms 
now, not the capitalists. So long as the government has not started 
fighting, our propaganda is peaceful. 

The government would like to see us make the first reckless step 
towards decisive action, as this would be to its advantage. It is 
exasperated because our party has advanced the slogan of peaceful 
demonstration. We must not cede one iota of our principles to 
the watchfully waiting petty bourgeoisie. The proletarian party 
would be guilty of the most grievous error if it shaped its policy 
on the basis of subjective desires where organisation is required. 
We cannot assert that the majority is with us; in this case our 
motto should be: caution, caution, caution. To base our proletarian 
policy on overconfidence means to condemn it to failure. 

The third point deals with the question of how to end the war. 
The Marxian point of view is well known, the difficulty is how to 
present this view to the masses in the clearest form possible. We 
are not pacifists, and we cannot repudiate a revolutionary war. 
Wherein does a revolutionary war differ from a capitalist war? The 
difference is, above all, a class difference: Which class is interested 
in the war? What policy does the interested class pursue in that 
war? ... In approaching the masses, we must offer concrete answers 
to all questions. First, then, how can one distinguish between a 
revolutionary war and a capitalist war? The rank and file of the 
masses do not grasp the distinction, do not realise that there is here 
a class distinction. Our explanations must not be confined to 
theories only, we must demonstrate in practice that we shall wage 
a really revolutionary war when the proletariat is in power. Put- 
ting the matter thus, we offer, I think, the clearest possible answer to 
the questions as to the nature of the war and of those who are 
carrying it on. 

The Pravda has published the draft of an appeal to the soldiers 
of all the belligerent countries. Information has been reaching 
Us concerning fraternisation on the front, but this fraternisation is 
as yet more or less elemental. What it lacks is a conscious political 
idea. The soldiers have come to feel instinctively that action must 
come from the bottom; their class instinct of people in a revolu- 



280 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

tionary mood made them feel that this was the only right path to- 
follow. For a revolution, however, this is insufficient. We must 
supply a clear-cut political issue. In order to make an end of 
this war, all power must pass to the revolutionary class. I would 
suggest that an appeal to the soldiers of all the warring countries 
be drawn up in the name of the conference and published in all the 
languages. If, instead of all these current phrases about peace 
conferences, fifty per cent of whose members are either secret or 
avowed agents of imperialist governments, we send out this appeal, 
it will bring us to our goal a thousand times sooner than all those 
peace conferences. We refuse to have any dealings with the Ger- 
man Plekhanovs. When we were crossing Germany, those gentle- 
men, the social-chauvinists, the German Plekhanovs, were clambering 
into our cars, but we told them that we would not allow a single 
one of them to enter our car, and that if any of them dared to 
enter they would not escape without a terrific scandal. Had a 
man like Karl Liebknecht been permitted to come to see us, we 
would have certainly talked matters over with him. When we issue 
our appeal to the toilers of all the countries, when we offer a 
definite answer to the question as to how to end the war, when the 
soldiers read our answer suggesting a political way out of this war, 
then fraternisation will make a tremendous stride forward. This 
we must do in order to elevate fraternisation from an instinctive 
revulsion against war to a clear political understanding as to how 
to get out of it. 

I now pass to the third question, i. e. 9 the analysis of the present 
moment with reference to the position of the international labour 
movement and that of international capitalism. When a Marxist 
discusses imperialism he realises the utter absurdity of dwelling 
on conditions in one single country, for he knows that all capitalist 
countries are closely bound together. During the present war this 
bond has grown immeasurably stronger. All humanity is kneaded 
into one bloody lump, and no one separate nation can disentangle 
itself from it. Though there are more and less advanced countries, 
the present war has bound all of them to each other by so many 
threads, that it appears senseless and impossible for any one sepa- 
rate country to strive to escape this tangle. 

We are all agreed that power should be in the hands of Soviets 
of Workers* and Soldiers* Deputies. But what can and what must 
they do if power passes to them, i. e., if it is in the hands of 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 281 

proletarians and semi-proletarians? We are confronted with an 
involved and difficult problem. Indeed, with regard to the transfer 
of power, we are aware of one danger that has played a disastrous 
role in former revolutions, namely, the revolutionary class not know- 
ing what to do with power after it has gained it. History offers many 
examples of revolutions that failed because of this. The Soviets of 
Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, spreading the network of their or- 
ganisation over all of Russia, are at this moment the central force of 
the revolution; it seems to me, however, that we have not sufficiently 
studied or understood them. Should they seize power, they would 
constitute a state not in the ordinary sense of that word. The world 
has never yet seen such a state functioning for any considerable 
length of time, but the proletarian movement of the world has been 
approaching such a state. That state would be constructed on the 
pattern of the Paris Commune. Such power is a dictatorship, i. e. 9 
it rests not on the law, not on the formal will of the majority, but 
on direct and open force. Force is the instrument of power. How, 
then, will the Soviets apply this power? Will they revert to the 
old way of governing by police? Will they carry on the govern- 
ment by means of the old organs of power? This they cannot do, 
I think. At any rate, they will be faced with the immediate task 
of creating a state that is not bourgeois. Among Bolsheviks, I have 
compared this state to the Paris Commune in the sense that the 
latter had destroyed the old administrative organs and had replaced 
them by perfectly new ones that were direct and immediate organs 
of the workers. I am blamed for using a word now exceedingly 
frightening to the capitalists, for they have begun to interpret it 
as a desire for the immediate introduction of Socialism. I have 
used it, however, only in the sense of replacing old organs by new 
proletarian organs. Marx regarded that as the greatest advance 
of the proletarian movement of the world. To us the question of 
the social tasks of the proletariat is of enormous practical im- 
portance, first, because we are at the present moment bound up with 
all the other countries, and are unable to free ourselves from this 
tangle, that is to say, the proletariat will either free itself as a whole 
or it will be crushed; secondly, the existence of Soviets of Workers' 
and Soldiers' Deputies is an established fact. No one doubts that 
they have spread over the whole of Russia, that they are a state 
power and that there can be no other power. If this is so, then 
we ought to make clear to ourselves how the Soviets are likely to 



282 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

use their power. It is asserted that the power of the Soviets is the 
same as in France or America, but there is nothing like it in those 
countries; such a direct power does not exist there. 

The resolution on the political situation consists of three parts. 161 
The first defines the objective situation created by the imperialist 
war, and the situation in which world capitalism finds itself; the 
second deals with the present state of the international proletarian 
movement; the third deals with the tasks of the Russian workers 
in case they assume power. In the first part I formulate the con- 
clusion that during the present war capitalism has developed even 
more than before the war. It is now in control of entire realms of 
production. As early as in 1891, e., twenty-seven years ago, when 
the Germans adopted the Erfurt programme, 162 Engels maintained 
that capitalism could not be regarded any longer as being planless. 
This idea has become obsolete; once there are trusts, planlessness 
disappears. It is particularly in the twentieth century that capitalism 
has made gigantic strides, and the war has accomplished what could 
not otherwise have been accomplished in twenty-five years. Na- 
tionalisation of industry has advanced not only in Germany., but 
also in England. Monopoly, in general, has evolved into state 
monopoly. 

General conditions show that the war has accelerated the de- 
velopment of capitalism; it advanced from capitalism to imperial- 
ism; from monopoly to nationalisation. All this made the Socialist 
revolution closer and created the objective conditions for it. Thus 
the course of the war has brought the Socialist revolution nearer 
to us. 

Before the war England was the freest country in the world, 
a point always stressed by the politicians of our Cadet type. There 
was freedom in England, because there was no revolutionary move- 
ment there. But the war has changed everything. In a country 
where for decades there was not a single instance of interference 
with the Socialist press, a typically tsarist censorship was estab- 
lished, and English prisons became crowded with Socialists. For 
centuries the capitalists of England acquired the habit of ruling 
the people without the use of force, and if they now resort to 
force, it shows that they have come to feel that the revolutionary 
movement is growing, and that they cannot do otherwise. When 
we pointed out that Liebknecht represented the masses, in spite of 
the fact that there were a hundred German Plekhanovs to one 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 283 

Liebknecht, we were told that that was a Utopia, an illusion. Yet, 
any one who visited workingmen's meetings ahroad knows that the 
sympathy of the masses for Liebknecht is an undeniable fact. His 
bitterest opponents had to practice cunning when they faced the 
masses. When they could not pretend to be his friends, they said 
nothing, they did not dare to say anything against him. Now the 
cause has advanced still farther. We are now witnessing mass 
strikes, and there is fraternisation at the front. Prophecies in this 
respect would be dangerously misleading; we cannot fail to notice, 
however, that sympathy with the International is growing, that a 
revolutionary fermentation is beginning in the German army. These 
facts tend to indicate that revolution in Germany is rising. 

What, then, are the tasks of the revolutionary proletariat? The 
main flaw, the main error, in all Socialist discussions is that this 
question is put in too general a form, the transition to Socialism. 
What we should discuss are concrete steps and measures. Some of 
these are ripe, some are not. We are now in the midst of a transi- 
tion period. Clearly, we have brought to the fore new forms, forms 
different from those to be found in bourgeois states. The Soviets 
of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies are a form of state without any 
parallel. It is a form that represents the first steps toward So- 
cialism, and is inevitable as the first stage in the development of a 
Socialist society. This is a fact of decisive importance. The Rus- 
sian Revolution has created the Soviets. No bourgeois country in 
the world has or can have such state institutions. No Socialist 
revolution can function with any other state power. The Soviets 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies must seize power not for the 
purpose of building an ordinary bourgeois republic, nor for the 
purpose of introducing Socialism immediately. The latter could 
not be accomplished. What, then, is the purpose? They must 
seize power in order to take the first concrete steps towards intro- 
ducing Socialism, steps that can and should be made. In this 
case fear is the greatest enemy. The masses should be convinced 
that these steps must be taken immediately, that otherwise the 
power of the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies would be 
devoid of meaning, and would offer nothing to the people. 

I shall now attempt to answer the question as to what concrete 
measures we may propose to the people that would not be con- 
trary to our Marxist conviction. 



284 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

Why do we wish that power should pass to the Soviets of Workers* 
and Soldiers* Deputies? 

The first thing the Soviets must accomplish is the nationalisation 
of the land. Nationalisation is being spoken of hy all the peoples. 
Some say it is a most Utopian measure, still, everybody comes to 
regard it as inevitable, because land ownership in Russia is so 
complicated that there is no other solution except the removal of 
all boundary lines and the making of all land the property of the 
state. Private ownership of land must be abolished. This is our 
first task, because the majority of the people are for it. To accom- 
plish this, we need the Soviets. This measure cannot be carried 
out by means of the old government bureaucracy. 

The second measure. We cannot stand for the "introduction" of 
Socialism this would be sheer nonsense. We must preach So- 
cialism. The majority of the population in Russia consists of 
peasants, of petty proprietors, who cannot even conceive of So- 
cialism. But what objections can they -have to a bank's being 
established in each village, to enable them to improve their hus- 
bandry? They can have nothing against such a measure. We must 
make propaganda in favour of these practical measures among the 
peasants, we must make the peasants realise that they are needed. 

Quite another thing is the sugar syndicate. Here our proposal 
must be of immediate practicability: these fully developed syndicates 
must be taken over by the state. If the Soviets wish to assume 
power, it is only for such ends. There is no other reason why the 
Soviets should assume power. The matter may be stated thus: 
either the Soviets develop, or they die an ignominious death, like 
the Paris Commune. For a bourgeois republic we need no Soviets; 
Cadets will do. 

I shall conclude by referring to the speech that made the strong- 
est impression on me. I heard a coal miner deliver a remarkable 
speech. Without using a single bookish word, he told how they had 
made the revolution. Those miners were not concerned with the 
question as to whether or not they should have a president. They 
seized the mine, and the important question to them was how 
to keep the cables intact so that production might not be interrupted. 
Then came the question of bread, of which there was a scarcity. 
And the miners again agreed on the method of obtaining it. Now 
this is a real programme of the revolution, not derived from books. 
This is a real seizure of power locally. Nowhere in Russia has the 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 285 

bourgeoisie assumed such a definite shape as it has in Petrograd. 
Here the capitalists have the power in their hands. But throughout 
the country, the peasants, without assigning themselves special 
Socialist tasks, are carrying out purely practical measures. It is 
this programme of the revolutionary movement that indicates, I 
think, the true path of the revolution. These measures, we hold, 
must be carried out with the greatest caution and circumspection. 
But it is only these measures that are really worth while, it is only 
they that point the way forward; without them there is no escape. 
Without them the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies will be 
dispersed, will die an ignominious death. But if the revolutionary 
proletariat should actually win power, it will be solely in order 
to advance. To advance, however, means to take definite steps. 
Words, alone, won't get us out of the war. The complete success 
of these steps is possible only through a world revolution, when 
the revolution smothers the war, when the workers of the world 
support the revolution. The seizure of power is, therefore, the only 
practical measure, this is the only way out. 

Ill 

CONCLUDING REMARKS IN CONNECTION WITH THE REPORT ON THE 
POLITICAL SITUATION, MAY 7, 1917 

COMRADE KAMENEV was cleverly riding his hobby when he spoke 
of adventurousness. 163 We must dwell on it for a moment. Com- 
rade Kamenev is convinced that he is right when he asserts that 
our opposition to the slogan, "Down with the Provisional Govern- 
ment," betrayed vacillation. I agree with him; there certainly have 
been deviations from a straightforward revolutionary policy; these 
deviations must be avoided in the future. I think that our dif- 
ferences with Comrade Kamenev are not very grave. Indeed, by 
agreeing with us, he has changed his position. Wherein were we 
adventurers? It was in the attempt to resort to forcible measures. 
We did not know the extent to which the masses had swung to our 
side during that troublous moment. Had it swung powerfully, it 
would have been an entirely different matter. We advocated peace- 
ful demonstrations. But several comrades from the Petrograd 
Committee issued an entirely different slogan. We decided against 
that slogan, but had no time to prevent its use; the masses followed 
the slogan of the Petrograd Committee. We say that the slogan, 



286 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

"Down with the Provisional Government," is an adventurer's slogan; 
that the government cannot as yet be overthrown. That is why 
we have advocated peaceful demonstrations. All we wanted was 
a peaceful reconnoitering of the enemy's forces; we did not want 
to give battle. The Petrograd Committee, however, turned a trifle 
to the Left. In a case of this sort, such a step was a grave crime. 
Our organisational apparatus proved too weak; not all are carry- 
ing out our instructions. Together with the correct slogan, "Long 
Live the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies," there was the 
incorrect slogan, "Down with the Provisional Government." In 
time of action, the deviation to the Left was wrong. We regard 
this as the greatest crime, as disorganisation. Had we deliberately 
allowed such an act, we would not have remained in the Central 
Committee for one moment. It happened because of the imperfec- 
tion of the organisational apparatus. Yes, our organisation had 
flaws. Our task is to improve the organisation. 

The Mensheviks and Co. tear the word "adventurers" to tatters. 
But they had no organisation and no policy at all. We have both 
an organisation and a policy. 

While the bourgeoisie was mobilising all its forces, while the 
centre was in hiding, we organised a peaceful demonstration. We 
were the only ones who had a political line. Were there any errors 
committed? Certainly there were. Only he who does nothing 
commits no errors. As for a perfect organisation, this is a difficult 
matter. 

Now about control. 

We are in full accord with Comrade Kamenev, except on the 
question of control. He views control as a political act. Subjec- 
tively, however, he understands this word better than Chkheidze 
and the others. We do not accept control. People tell us that 
we have isolated ourselves, that by letting loose a torrent of terrible 
Communist phrases we have frightened the bourgeoisie into a fit. 
So be it! Still, it was not this that isolated us. It was the Loan 
question that caused our isolation. It was on this question that we 
found ourselves in the minority. Yes, we are in the minority. 
Well, what of it? To be a Socialist while chauvinism is raging all 
around means to be in the minority. To be in the majority means 
to be a chauvinist. At the present moment the peasant together 
with Miliukov is getting the best of Socialism by means of the 
Loan. The peasant follows Miliukov and Guchkov. This is a 



REPORT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 287 

fact. The bourgeois-democratic dictatorship of the peasantry is an 
old formula. 

The peasant is chauvinistic. We must separate the proletariat, 
we must form a distinct proletarian party, if we wish to draw the 
peasant to the revolution. To draw the peasant now means to 
surrender to the mercies of Miliukov. 

The Provisional Government must be overthrown, but not now, 
and not in the ordinary way. We agree with Comrade Kamenev. 
But we must explain. It is this word that nettles Comrade Kamenev. 
But that, nevertheless, is the only thing we can do. 

Comrade Rykov says that Socialism must first come from other 
countries with greater industrial development. But this is not so. 
It is hard to tell who will begin and who will end. This is not 
Marxism, but a parody on Marxism. 

Marx said that France would begin and that Germany would fin- 
ish. But it turned out that the Russian proletariat achieved more 
than anybody else. . . . 

Had we said: "No Tsar, but a Dictatorship of the Proletariat" 
it would have meant a leap over the petty bourgeoisie. What we 
are saying, however, is this: help the revolution through the Soviet 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies. We must not degenerate into 
reformism. We are waging this struggle in order that we may 
emerge the victors, not the vanquished. At worst we count on partial 
success. If we suffer defeat, we shall have partial success. We shall 
get reforms. Reforms are an auxiliary means in the class struggle. 

Furthermore, Comrade Rykov says that there is no period of 
transition from capitalism to Socialism. This is wrong and is a 
break with Marxism. 

The policy which we have mapped out is sound. In the future 
we shall make every effort to strengthen our organisation to such 
an extent that there should be no Petrograd Committeemen 1W dis- 
obeying the Central Committee. We are growing this is as it should 
be with a real party. 

IV 

SPEECH ON THE PROPOSED CALLING OF AN INTERNATIONAL 
SOCIALIST CONFERENCE, MAT 8, 1917 16S 

I CANNOT agree with Comrade Nogin. We are confronted here, 
I think, with a fact of extraordinary political importance, and we 



288 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

are in duty bound to launch a vigorous campaign against the Rus- 
sian and Anglo-French chauvinists who have declined Borgbj erg's 
Invitation to participate in the conference. We ought not to overlook 
the essence, the meaning, of this whole affair. I am going to read 
to you Borgbj erg's proposal exactly as it was reported by the 
Rabochaia Gazeta. I shall point out how back of this whole comedy 
of a would-be Socialist congress there are actually the political 
manoeuvres of German imperialism. The German capitalists use the 
German social-chauvinists for the purpose of inviting the social- 
chauvinists of all countries to the conference. That is why it is 
necessary to launch a great campaign. 

Why do they do it through the Socialists? Because they want to 
fool the working masses. Those diplomats are subtle; to say so 
openly would not do, they think it more effective to utilise a Danish 
Plekhanov. We have seen hundreds of German chauvinists abroad; 
they must be exposed. 

(Reads an excerpt from the Rabochaia Gazeta, No. 39, May 8 9 
1917.) 



On behalf of the joint committee of the three Scandinavian labour parties 
(Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish), Borgbjerg, editor of the Danish Social- 
Democratic organ Socid-Demokraten, IB& has forwarded a message to the 
Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies invit- 
ing all the Socialist parties in Russia to send their representatives to an 
international Socialist conference. Because of the proximity of Denmark 
to Germany, Borgbjerg was able to communicate mainly with representatives 
of the "majority" fraction of the German Social-Democratic Party. From 
him the committee learned the peace terms which the official Social-Democratic 
Party of Germany would consider acceptable, and which its representatives 
would propose to the conference. 

The terms follow: 

First of all they subscribe to the principles laid down by the Scandinavian 
and Dutch Socialists at the 1915 conference, namely, the self-determination 
of nations, the obligation of all countries to bring their differences before an 
international court of arbitration, the demand for gradual disarmament. They 
furthermore add that the German Social-Democracy will insist upon the fol- 
lowing: 

1. All territories occupied by Germany and her allies are to be given up; 

2. Russian Poland is to be granted full freedom to determine whether it 
wants to remain a part of Russia or to be independent; 

3. Belgium is to be restored as a fully independent state; 

4. Similarly, Serbia, Montenegro, Rumania are to be restored as independent 
states; 

5. Bulgaria is to receive the Bulgarian districts of Macedonia, and Serbia 
is to be given access to the Adriatic Sea. 

As regards Alsace-Lorraine, a peaceful agreement concerning the rectifica- 
tion of Lorraine's boundaries is possible; as far as the Poles of Posen arc 



ON INTERNATIONAL SOCIALIST CONFERENCE 289 

concerned, the Germans will insist on their obtaining autonomy of national 
culture. 

We have not the slightest doubt that this proposal comes from 
the German government which, instead of making a straightforward 
bid, resorts to the services of the Danish Plekhanovs, since, ob- 
viously, the services of the German government agents are in this 
case undesirable. That is why there are social-chauvinists in this 
world; that they may carry out such commissions. It is our task 
to expose to the world, in the name of the seventy thousand workers 
represented at this conference of a proletarian party, the underlying 
forces and intentions that are kept secret. It is necessary to publish 
a detailed resolution, to translate it into foreign languages, and thus 
to give a deserved rebuff to these gentlemen who dare to inject 
themselves into a Socialist party. 

(Reads the draft of a resolution.) 1S7 

The Socialist papers are silent this morning. They know what 
they are about. They know that silence is precious. Only the 
Rabochaia Gazeta has published an article devoid of any critical 
analysis. On the one hand, we cannot but confess, while, on the 
other, we must admit. * . . 

More than any one else the Russian government may be certain 
that this is really the work of an agent of the German government. 

When we hear the incessant cries about the liberation of Alsace- 
Lorraine, we must remind those gentlemen that the real question 
at issue here is the pocket, for there is tremendous wealth in Alsace- 
Lorraine, and the German capitalists are fighting with the French 
capitalists for the division of the booty. It is to their advantage to 
have the Plekhanovs say that the liberation of Alsace-Lorraine is a 
holy cause. When the German social-chauvinists talk of a peaceful 
rectification of the boundaries of Alsace-Lorraine, it means peaceful 
division of the spoil between the French and the German imperialists. 

There is one thing more I must add. I forgot to point out the 
fact that the German representatives of the "centre," Kautsky, Haase, 
Ledebour, have agreed to this conference. This deserves nothing 
but contempt. The English and the French Socialists have declined 
to attend the conference. This indicates that the Anglo-French 
chauvinists, who call themselves Socialists, are really agents of the 
bourgeoisie, because they are instrumental in continuing the im- 
perialist war despite the tremendous efforts made by the German 
Socialist majority through Borgbjerg; for the German government, 



290 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

in using Borgbjerg, undoubtedly, says: The situation is such that 
I am forced to return to you your booty (the German colonies in 
Africa) . This is confirmed by the fact that the situation in Germany 
is most desperate, that the country is on the brink of ruin; to carry 
on the war now is a hopeless task. This is the reason why they say 
that they are ready to give up almost all the booty, for by saying 
this they are still striving to retain at least something. The diplo- 
mats communicate with each other freely, while the bourgeois papers, 
whenever they write of foreign affairs, fool the people with phrases. 

There is no doubt that when the English and the French social- 
chauvinists declined to attend the conference, they were familiar 
with all the facts. They must have gone to the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs where they were told: Such and such are the underlying 
facts, we do not want you to go there. This is exactly what 
happened. 

On the other hand, when the Russian soldiers receive this resolu- 
tion which must be issued in the name of the seventy thousand 
members of our party, they will really begin to see into the whole 
shady affair. They will then understand that Germany is unable 
further to carry on its war of conquest, and that it is the purpose of 
the Allies completely to crush and to rob Germany. It cannot be 
denied that Borgbjerg is an agent of the German government. 

This, comrades, is the reason why, I think, we must expose this 
whole comedy of the Socialist conference, expose all these con- 
gresses as comedies intended to cover up the deals made by the 
diplomats behind the backs of the masses. Once and for all we 
must tell the truth in such a way that it may be heard by the 
soldiers at the front and by the workers all over the world. And 
our campaign with regard to such proposals will serve, on the one 
hand, to explain our proletarian policy, and, on the other, as a series 
of mass actions of unprecedented dimensions. I ask you, there- 
fore, to adopt this declaration, to forward it to the Executive Com- 
mittee, to translate it into foreign languages, and to publish it in 
to-morrow's Pravda. 

Comrades, it seems to me that as matters stand it would be ex- 
pedient to elect an editorial commission, that is, of course, if you 
agree with the basic ideas of the declaration. Comrade Kamenev's 
resolution also appears to me acceptable, but it must be considered 
in connection with the question relating to the International. As 



ON THE SOVIET AND WAR 291 

for the present, we must forthwith take practical measures to counter- 
act the campaign initiated by Borgbjerg. 168 



SPEECH ON THE ATTITUDE TOWARD THE SOVIETS OF WORKERS' AND 
SOLDIERS' DEPUTIES, MAY 8, 1917 169 

BRIEF PRESS REPORT 

LENIN pointed out that the French Revolution went through a 
period of municipal revolution, that it gained strength in local 
organs of self-government which became its mainstay. In the Rus- 
sian Revolution, he observed, there has been a tendency towards 
bureaucracy in the centres, and a tendency to exercise greater power 
by local and provincial Soviets. The Soviets in the capitals are 
politically more dependent upon the bourgeois central government 
than the Soviets in the provinces. In the centres it is not so easy 
to take over the management of industries; in the provinces this 
has been partly accomplished already. Hence the conclusion that 
the local Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies must 
be strengthened. In this respect progress can be first of all achieved 
in the provinces. 

VI 

SPEECH IN FAVOUR OF THE RESOLUTION RELATING TO 
THE WAR, MAY 10, 1917 1TO 

COMRADES, the first draft of the resolution relating to the war 
was read by me at the city conference. Because of the crisis that 
had absorbed the attention and energy of all our comrades, we had 
been unable to amend the draft. But since yesterday the commission 
has been working on it, and the results, it appears, are satisfactory: 
the resolution has been changed, shortened and improved. 

I wish to say a few words concerning the structure of the reso- 
lution. It consists of three parts. The first is devoted to a class 
analysis of the war; it also contains a statement of principles upon 
which our party bases its distrust of all promises made by the 
Provisional Government, as well as its denial of confidence in that 
government. The second part deals with the question of revolu- 
tionary defencism as a vast mass movement which has united against 
us the overwhelming majority of the people. Our task is to make 



292 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

clear the class significance of this revolutionary defencism, its 
essence, the correlation of forces within it, and how to fight against 
it. The third part of the resolution deals with the question of how 
to end the war. This practical question, which is of supreme im- 
portance to our party, requires a detailed answer. We think that 
we have succeeded in meeting this requirement satisfactorily. The 
many articles on the war published in the Pravda and in the pro- 
vincial newspapers (which reach us very irregularly, postal service 
being disorganised, and provincial papers reaching the Central Com- 
mittee only occasionally) reveal a negative attitude toward the war 
and the Loan. I think that the vote against the Loan settled the 
question as to our opposition to revolutionary defencism. I think 
it is unnecessary to discuss this in greater detail. 

The present war is, on the part of both belligerent groups, an imperialist 
war, i. e^ it is waged by the capitalists for the division of the benefits derived 
from the domination of the world, for markets, for finance (bank) capital, for 
the subjection of weak nationalities, etc. 

The first and basic point is the question of the meaning of the war, 
a question of a general and political character, a question on which 
there is disagreement, a question which the capitalists and the social- 
chauvinists most carefully evade. This is the reason why we must 
consider it first in order and make an addition. 

Each day of war enriches the financial and industrial bourgeoisie and im- 
poverishes and saps the strength of the proletariat and the peasantry of all the 
belligerents, as well as of the neutral countries. In Russia, moreover, the 
prolongation of the war involves a grave danger to the conquests of the revo- 
lution and its further development. 

The passing of state power, in Russia, into the hands of the Provisional 
Government, a government of the landowners and capitalists, did not and 
could not alter the character and meaning of Russia's participation in the war. 

The words I have just read to you are of great importance in our 
propaganda and agitation. Has the class character of the war 
changed? Could it change? Our reply is based on the fact that 
power has passed to the government of the landowners and the capi- 
talists, the groups that prepared this war. We then pass on to one 
of the facts that reveals most clearly the character of the war. Class 
interests as expressed by the general policy carried on for decades 
by definite classes, are one thing; the obvious class character of the 
war is another. 

This fact "became particularly apparent when the new government not only 
failed to publish the secret treaties concluded between the kte Tsar and the 



RESOLUTION ON THE WAR 293 

capitalist governments of England, France, etc., but even formally and with- 
out consulting the people, confirmed these secret treaties, which promised 
Russian capitalists freedom to rob China, Persia, Turkey, Austria, etc. The 
concealment of these treaties from the people completely deceived them as to 
the true character of the war. 

And so, I emphasise again, we are pointing out one particularly 
striking confirmation of our analysis of the character of the war. 
Even if there were no treaties at all, the character of the war would 
be the same, because capitalist groups can come to an agreement 
without any treaties. But the treaties exist; their meaning is self- 
evident; for the purposes of co-ordinating the work of our agitators 
and propagandists, the fact of their existence must be especially 
emphasised. This is why we have made a special point of it. The 
people's attention is and should be called to this fact, all the more 
so because the treaties were concluded by the Tsar who has been 
overthrown. The people's attention ought to be called to the fact 
that the present governments are carrying on the war on the basis 
of treaties concluded between the old governments. This, I feel, 
makes the contradiction between the capitalist interests and the will 
of the people stand out most strikingly, and it is for the agitators 
to expose these contradictions, to call the people's attention to them, 
to strive to explain them to the masses by appealing to their class 
consciousness. Inasmuch as all the governments keep these treaties 
secret, we infer that the treaties doubtless hold out the promise 
of enormous profits to the capitalists, to be derived from robbing 
other countries. There is not a republic in the world whose foreign 
policy is conducted in the open. While the capitalist system exists, 
it is fatuous to expect the capitalists to open their ledgers. While 
there is private ownership of the means of production, there is bound 
to be private ownership of stocks and financial operations. The 
cornerstone of contemporary diplomacy is financial operations, which 
in their final analysis mean the robbing and the crushing of weaker 
nationalities. From our point of view, these are the fundamental 
premises upon which our evaluation of the war rests. Starting with 
them, we come to the following conclusion: 

For this reason a proletarian party can support neither the present war, 
nor the present government, nor its loans, without breaking completely with 
internationalism, i. e., with the fraternal solidarity of the workers of all lands 
in their struggle against the yoke of capital. 

This is our chief and basic method. It determines our whole 
policy, and it differentiates us from all the other parties, regardless 



294 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

of how Socialist they claim to be. This principle seems to us 
irrefutable, and it predetermines our attitude toward all the other 
political parties. Next follows a statement concerning the extrava- 
gant promises made by the government. Around these promises 
a prolonged campaign is carried on by the Soviets who have become 
themselves entangled in these promises, which are very trying to the 
people. We have, therefore, deemed it necessary to add to our purely 
objective analysis of the class relations an analysis of those prom- 
ises, promises which in themselves have, of course, no significance 
in the eyes of a Marxist, but which mean a great deal to the people, 
and mean still more in politics. The Petrograd Soviet has become 
entangled in these promises, has added weight to them by promising 
its support This is the reason why we add the following state- 
ment: 

No confidence can be placed in the promises of the present government to 
renounce annexations, i.e., conquests of foreign countries, or in the promise 
to renounce forcible retention within the confines of Russia of this or that 
nationality. 

Since the word "annexation" is foreign, we have given it an 
exact political definition, such as neither the Cadet party nor the 
petty-bourgeois democratic parties (the Narodniks and Mensheviks) 
could possibly give. Few words have been used so meaninglessly 
and so carelessly. 

For, in the first place, the capitalists, bound by thousands of threads of 
banking capital, cannot renounce annexations in the present war without 
renouncing the profits on the billions invested in loans, in concessions, in 
war industries, etc. And, in the second place, the new government, having 
renounced annexations in order to deceive the people, declared through 
Miliukov (Moscow, April 22, 1917), that it had no intentions of renouncing 
annexations, and, in the note of May 1 and in the explanations of it of May 
5, confirmed the annexationist character of its policy. 

In warning the people against the empty promises of the capitalists, the 
conference, therefore, declares that it is necessary to distinguish sharply between 
a renunciation of annexations in words and a renunciation of annexations in 
deed, L e. 9 the immediate publication and abrogation of all the secret, predatory 
treaties, and the immediate granting to all nationalities of the right to de- 
termine by free voting whether they wish to be independent states or to be 
part of any other state. 

We have found it necessary to point out the foregoing, because 
the question of peace without annexations is the fundamental ques- 
tion in all discussions of peace terms. All parties recognise that 
peace will become the paramount issue, and that peace with annexa- 



RESOLUTION ON THE WAR 295 

tions will be an unheard-of catastrophe for all countries. In a 
country where there is political freedom, the question of peace can- 
not be placed before the people otherwise than in terms of peace 
without annexations. It is therefore necessary to declare in favour 
of peace without annexations, at the same time lying by using the 
word "annexations" in a very vague sense, or evading the question 
altogether. The Riech, for instance, cries that the return of Courland 
to Russia means renunciation of annexations. When I spoke before 
the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies, one soldier handed 
me a slip of paper with the following question: "We are forced to 
fight to win back Courland. Does reconquering of Courland mean 
fighting for annexations?" I was forced to reply affirmatively. We 
are against Germany's forcible annexation of Courland, but we are 
also against Russia's forcible retention of Courland. For example, 
our government has issued a manifesto proclaiming the independence 
of Poland. The manifesto is full of meaningless phrases. It does, 
however, state that Poland must form a free military alliance with 
Russia. These three words contain the whole truth. A free mili- 
tary alliance of little Poland with huge Russia is, in point of fact, 
complete military subjection of Poland. Poland may be granted 
freedom politically; its boundaries, however, will be determined 
by the military alliance. 

If we fight to insure the supremacy of the Russian capitalists over 
the former territories of Courland and Poland, then the German 
capitalists have the right to rob Courland. They may argue this 
way: At the end of the eighteenth century you and we looted Poland 
together. Prussia then was a very small and a very weak country; 
Russia was strong, therefore Russia grabbed more. Now we have 
grown stronger and it is our purpose, if you please, to snatch a 
larger share. It is impossible to refute this capitalist logic. In 
1863 Japan was a mere zero in comparison with Russia, but in 
1905 Japan thrashed Russia. In 1863-1873 Germany was a mere 
zero in comparison with England, but now Germany is stronger than 
England. The Germans may argue: We were weak when Courland 
was taken from us; we have now grown stronger than you, and 
we wish to take it back. Not to renounce annexations means to 
justify the interminable wars conducted for the conquest of weak 
nationalities. To renounce annexations means to let each people 
determine freely whether it wants to live separately or together 
with others, Of course, for this purpose, the armies must be with- 



296 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

drawn. To manifest the slightest hesitation in the matter of annexa- 
tions means to encourage endless wars. It follows that in this matter 
we allow no hesitation. With regard to annexations, our answer is 
free decision of the peoples. But how can we secure economic free- 
dom alongside this political freedom? To accomplish this, power 
must pass into the hands of the proletariat and the yoke of capitalism 
must be overthrown. 

I now pass on to the second part of the resolution. 

The so-called "revolutionary defencism," which in Russia has permeated all 
the Narodnik parties (the People's Socialists, Trudoviks, Socialists-Revolution- 
ists), as well as the opportunist party of the Social-Democratic Mensheviks 
of the Organisation Committee (Chkheidze, Tsereteli, etc.), and the majority 
of the unaffiliated revolutionists, represents, by its class character, on the 
one hand the interests and the standpoint of the wealthier peasants and a 
part of the small proprietors who, like the capitalists, profit by oppressing 
weak peoples. On the other hand, "revolutionary defencism" is the outcome of 
the deception by the capitalists of part of the city and village proletarians who 
by their class position, have no interest in the profits of the capitalists and 
in the imperialist war. 

This means that it is our task here to indicate what strata of 
society could give rise to the defencist tendency. Russia is the 
most petty-bourgeois country in the world, and the upper strata of 
the petty bourgeoisie are directly interested in prolonging this war. 
The wealthier peasants, like the capitalists, are profiting by the war. 
On the other hand, the large mass of proletarians and semi-prole- 
tarians has no interest in annexations, because it makes no profit 
on bank capital. How, then, have these classes come to adopt the 
standpoint of revolutionary defencism? Such an attitude of these 
classes toward revolutionary defencism is the outgrowth of bour- 
geois ideology which the resolution designates by the word "decep- 
tion." They are unable to differentiate between the interests of the 
capitalists and the interests of the country. Hence we conclude: 

The conference declares that any concession to revolutionary defencism is 
absolutely not permissible and would actually signify a complete break with 
internationalism and Socialism. As for the defencist tendencies present among 
the great masses, our party will struggle against these tendencies by cease- 
lessly emphasising the truth that any attitude of uncritical confidence in the 
government of the capitalists at the present moment is one of the greatest 
obstacles to a speedy conclusion of the war. 

The last words express the peculiarity that distinguishes Russia 
from the other capitalist Western countries, and from all the capi- 



RESOLUTION ON THE WAR 297 

that it is the confidence of the ignorant masses that chiefly makes 
it possible to prolong the war. There the masses are in the iron 
grip of military discipline. The more discipline, the more demo- 
cratic is the republic, since power in a republic rests on "the will 
of the people." Owing to the revolution there is no such discipline 
in Russia. The masses freely elect representatives to the Soviets 
a phenomenon that cannot be seen at the present time anywhere in 
the world. But they are ignorantly credulous, hence they are being 
used for the purposes of war. So far we can do nothing but explain. 
Our explanations must deal with the immediate revolutionary prob- 
lems and methods of action. As long as the masses are free, any 
attempt to act in the name of a minority without explaining to the 
masses may be stamped as senseless Blanquism, as an attempt of 
adventurers. Only by winning the masses, if they can be won, can 
we lay a solid foundation for the triumph of the proletarian class 
struggle. 

I now pass to the third part of the resolution: 

As for the most important question of the manner of concluding as soon 
as possible the present capitalist war, not by an oppressive peace, but by a 
truly democratic peace, the conference recognises and declares the following: 

This war cannot be ended by a refusal of the soldiers of one side only to 
continue the war, by a simple cessation of war activities on the part of one 
side only. 

The idea of thus concluding the war has been attributed to us 
over and over again by persons who wish to win an easy victory 
over their opponents by distorting the latter's views, a usual method 
of capitalists who ascribe to us the absurd idea of wishing to end 
the war by a one-sided refusal to fight. They say: "The war cannot 
be brought to an end by the simple expedient of sticking the bayonet 
into the ground," to quote one soldier who is a typical revolutionary 
defencist. I maintain, however, that this is no argument to confute 
us. The whole idea that the war can be concluded without a change 
in the ruling classes is an Anarchist idea. Either this idea is 
Anarchist in that case it has no significance, no meaning for any 
state, or it is humanitarian and pacifist and fails to appreciate 
the connection existing between politics and the oppressing class. 
War is an evil, peace is a blessing. . . . Certainly this idea must be 
made clear to the masses, must be popularised. And generally 
speaking, all our resolutions are being written for the leading ele- 
ments of the party, for the Marxists; they are not intelligible read- 



298 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

ing for the masses. But they must serve as unifying and guiding 
political principles for every propagandist and agitator. To meet 
this requirement, one more paragraph was added: 

The conference reiterates its protests against the base slander circulated by 
the capitalists against our party to the effect that we are in favour of a 
separate peace with Germany. We consider the German capitalists as robbers 
no less than the capitalists of Russia, England, France, etc., and Emperor 
Wilhelm just as much of a crowned bandit as Nicholas II and the monarchs 
of England, Italy, Rumania, and all the rest. 

With regard to this point there was some disagreement among the 
members of the commission. First, some maintained that at this 
point our language became too popular; secondly, that the English, 
Italian, and Rumanian monarchs did not deserve the honour of be- 
ing mentioned here. After a prolonged discussion, however, we 
came to the unanimous conclusion that, in view of the fact that 
our present aim is to refute all the slanders which the Birzhevka has 
attempted to spread against us rather crudely, the Riech more 
subtly, the Yedijistvo by transparent innuendoes, we must, on a 
question of this character, come out with a very sharp and telling 
criticism of these ideas, having in view the broadest possible masses 
of the people. Wnen we are asked: why not help overthrow Wil- 
helm if you consider him a robber, we may answer that the others 
are also robbers, that we ought to fight against them as well, that 
one must not forget the kings of Italy and Rumania, who belong to 
our Allies. These two sentences are intended to combat the slander 
that is liable to lead to squabbles and pogroms. This is the reason 
why we must now pass on to the serious question of how to conclude 
the war. 

Our party will explain to the people, with patience and persistence, the 
truth that wars are carried on by governments, that wars are always indis- 
solubly bound up with the policies of certain classes, that this war may be 
terminated by a democratic peace only if the entire state power in at least 
several of the belligerent countries has passed to the class of the proletarians 
and semi-proletarians who are really capable of putting an end to the bondage 
of capitalism. 

To a Marxist the statements that wars are carried on by capitalists 
and that they are bound up with their class interests, are absolute 
truths. A Marxist does not have to dwell on that. But when skilful 
agitators and propagandists appear before the masses, they must 
be able to explain this truth simply, without resorting to foreign 
words, for with us, in Russia, discussions very often degenerate 



RESOLUTION ON THE WAR 299 

into empty and futile quibbling. This we try to achieve in every 
part of our resolution. We say: in order to understand the war, 
one must inquire who profits by the war; in order to understand 
how to put an end to the war, one must find out which classes 
do not profit by the war. The connection here is perfectly clear, 
hence we deduce: 

In Russia, the revolutionary class, upon having seized the state power, 
would inaugurate a series of measures to undermine the economic rule of the 
capitalists, as well as of measures that would render them completely harm- 
less politically, and would immediately and frankly offer to all peoples a 
democratic peace on the basis of a complete relinquishment of every possible 
form of annexation or indemnity. 

Once we speak in the name of the revolutionary class, the people 
have the right to ask: well, and what about you, what would you 
do in their place to end the war? This is an inevitable question. 
The people are electing us now as their representatives, and we must 
make a perfectly precise answer. The revolutionary class would 
set out by undermining the rule of the capitalists, it would then 
offer to all the peoples precise peace terms, because, unless the rule 
of the capitalists is undermined, all we can have are scraps of 
paper. Only a victorious class can accomplish this, can bring about 
a change in policy. 

I repeat once more: in order to reach the uneducated masses, 
in order to introduce this question to the uninitiated, we need inter- 
mediate links in the logical development of our idea. The main 
fallacy and falsity of popular literature on war lies in the fact that 
this question is being evaded, it is being passed over in silence, that 
the matter is represented as if there were no class struggle, as if two 
countries had lived peacefully, but one attacked the other, and the 
attacked defended itself. This is a vulgar reasoning in which there 
is not a shadow of objective truth, it is the way in which educated 
people deliberately deceive the masses. If approached properly, 
any representative of the masses would be able to grasp the essential 
point; for the interests of the ruling classes are one thing, and the 
interests of the oppressed classes are another. 

What would happen, if the revolutionary class seized power? 

Such measures, and such an open offer of peace would bring about an atti- 
tude of complete confidence of the workers of the belligerent countries towards 
each other, . , . 



300 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

Such confidence is impossible now, and wordy manifestos will 
not create it. A certain thinker once said that language has been 
given to man to enable him to conceal his thought. The diplomats 
say: "Conferences are convened to enable us to deceive the people." 
Not only the capitalists, but the Socialists too reason this way. 
To be specific, this may be said of the conference called by 
Borgbjerg. 

. . . and would inevitably lead to uprisings of the proletariat against such 
imperialist governments as might resist the offered peace. 

When the capitalist government now says: "We are for peace 
without annexations" nobody believes it. The masses of the people 
have the instinct of oppressed classes which tells them that nothing 
has changed. Only if the policy were actually changed in one 
country, confidence would awaken and attempts at uprisings would 
be made. We speak of "uprisings" because we are now discussing 
all the countries. "A revolution has taken place in one country, 
now it must take place in Germany" this is false reasoning. One 
is trying to establish a sequence, but this one must not do. All 
of us went through the revolution of 1905. All of us heard or 
witnessed how that revolution released a flood of revolutionary 
ideas throughout the world. Marx often spoke of this influence of 
revolutions. Still, revolutions cannot be just made, nor is it possible 
to establish an order of sequence. A revolution cannot be made 
to order it grows. What they are now palming off on our people 
is charlatanism pure and simple. The people are told : Well, you in 
Russia have made a revolution, now it is the Germans' turn. If 
the objective conditions change, uprising is inevitable. But as 
to the order of sequence, as to the precise moment, as to the degree 
of success, this no one knows. We are asked: If the revolutionary 
class assumes power in Russia, and if no uprisings break out in the 
other countries, what will the revolutionary party do? Indeed, what 
will we do? This question is answered in the last paragraph of our 
resolution. 

Until the revolutionary class in Russia shall have taken over the entire state 
power, our party will with all means support those proletarian parties and 
groups in foreign countries as are already, during the continuance of the war, 
conducting a revolutionary struggle against their own imperialist governments 
and their own bourgeoisie. 

This is all that we can promise and must do now. The revolution 
is growing in all countries, but when it will break out, and to what 



RESOLUTION ON THE WAR 301 

extent, no one knows. In every country there are people who are 
carrying on a revolutionary struggle against their government. 
Them and them alone we must support This is the real thing, 
all the rest is a lie. And we add: 

Particularly will our party support the mass fraternisation of the soldiers 
of all the belligerent countries that has already begun at the front. . . . 

This is to confute Plekhanov, who argues: "What will he the 
outcome of all this? Suppose you fraternise, then what? Does 
not this suggest the possibility of a separate peace at the front?" 
This is acrobatics, it is not a serious argument. We want fraterni- 
sation on all the fronts, and we are taking pains to encourage it. 
When we worked in Switzerland, we published a proclamation in 
two languages: in French on one side of the page; in German on 
the other. We urged those soldiers to do the same thing that we 
are now urging the Russian soldiers to do. We do not limit our- 
selves to the fraternisation between the German and the Russian 
soldiers, we call upon all to fraternise. This, then, is what we 
mean by fraternisation: 

We will thereby endeavour to transform this instinctive expression of soli- 
darity of the oppressed into a class-conscious, well-organised movement for 
the taking over of all state power in all the belligerent countries by the 
revolutionary proletariat. 

Fraternisation so far is purely instinctive; we must not deceive 
ourselves on this score. We must admit this, in order not to delude 
the people. The fraternising soldiers are not actuated by a clear 
political idea. Rather are they actuated by the instinct of oppressed 
people, weary, exhausted, and disillusioned in capitalistic promises. 
They say: "While you keep on talking about peace there, we have 
been hearing it now for over two and a half years, we shall begin 
concluding it ourselves." This is a true class instinct. Without 
this instinct the cause of the revolution would be hopeless. For, 
you know, nobody will free the workers, if they do not free them- 
selves. But is instinct alone sufficient? You would not get very- 
far if you relied on instinct alone. This instinct must be transformed 
into conscious intelligence. 

In our proclamation, "To the Soldiers of All the Belligerent 
Countries," we answer the question as to what this fraternisation 
should develop into. We say: "Into the passing of political power 
to the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies." Naturally, the 



302 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

German soldiers will call their Soviets by a different name, but 
this does not matter. The point is that we admit that so far fraterni- 
sation has been purely instinctive, which is an incontrovertible 
truth, that we do not confine ourselves to encouraging fraternisation, 
that our objective is to turn this instinctive coming together of 
workers and peasants of all the countries attired in soldiers' uni- 
forms into a conscious movement, looking toward the passing of state 
power in all the belligerent countries into the hands of the revo- 
lutionary proletariat. This task is difficult, but the position in which 
humanity finds itself under capitalist rule is monstrously difficult, 
and leads humanity to ruin. This is why it will call forth that 
outburst of indignation which is the guarantee of proletarian revo- 
lution. 

This is our resolution, which we submit to the attention of the 
conference. 

VII 

REPORT ON THE AGRARIAN QUESTION, MAT 11, 1917 

COMRADES: Our party has considered the agrarian question with 
such thoroughness even during the first revolution, that by this 
time, I think, our ideas on the subject are pretty well defined. As 
proof, we have the fact that the section of the conference which is 
composed of comrades fully versed and deeply interested in this 
subject has unanimously agreed on the proposed resolution, and 
has not suggested any substantial corrections. I shall therefore 
confine myself to a few very brief remarks. And since all the 
members are in possession of proof sheets of the draft, there is no 
need for reading it in full. 

The present growth of the agrarian movement throughout the 
whole of Russia is perfectly obvious and undeniable. Our party 
programme, proposed by the Mensheviks, and adopted by the Stock- 
holm Congress in 1906, had proved inadequate even in the course of 
the first Russian Revolution. At that Congress the Mensheviks had 
succeeded in having their programme of municipalisation adopted. 
In its essence their programme was as follows: The peasant lands, 
communal as well as private, were to remain the property of the 
peasants. The lands belonging to the owners of estates were to be 
taken over by the organs of local self-government. One of the main 



REPORT ON THE AGRARIAN QUESTION 303 

reasons advanced by the Mensheviks in favour of such a programme 
was that the peasants would never understand the transfer of peasant 
lands to any one but the peasants. A study of the minutes of the 
Stockholm Congress shows that this argument was particularly 
stressed by Maslov and Kostrov, who reported on the question. We 
must not forget as is often done nowadays that the congress took 
place before the first Duma, when there was no definite information 
about the peasant movement and its strength. Every one knew that 
Russia was in the midst of an agrarian revolution, but no one knew 
how that agrarian movement would be organised, nor what slogans 
would be used in the development of the peasant revolution. There 
was no way of checking up whether the opinions expressed by the 
congress were the serious and practical views held by the peasants 
themselves. This was the reason why the Menshevik arguments 
carried weight with many delegates. Soon after the Stockholm 
Congress, we received the first substantial indication how the peasant 
masses viewed this question. In both the first and the second Dumas, 
the peasants themselves came out with the "Bill of 104." I have 
made a special study of the signatures under this bill, I have 
familiarised myself in detail with the opinions of the various Depu- 
ties, their class affiliations, the extent to which they may be called 
peasants. And I have stated categorically in my book, which was 
burned by the Tsar's censor but which I intend to republish, that of 
the 104 signatories the overwhelming majority were peasants. 171 
That bill provided for the nationalisation of the land. The peasants 
wanted the entire land to become the property of the state. 

How, then, can we explain the fact that in both Dumas the Depu- 
ties representing the entire Russian peasantry preferred the nation- 
alisation of land to the measures in behalf of the peasantry pressed 
in both Dumas by the Mensheviks? The Mensheviks proposed that 
the peasants retain the ownership of their own lands, and that only 
the lands belonging to the large landowners be transferred to the 
people; the peasants, on the contrary, maintained that the entire land 
should be transferred to the people. How can we account for this? 
The Socialists-Revolutionists say that, owing to the preponderance 
of the "communal principle" * in the villages, the Russian peasants 

* The Narodniks believed that Socialist ideas were inherent in the peasants, 
and that communal landownership with individual use of the land by the 
peasant was a manifestation of those ideas. Ed. 



304 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

are in sympathy with socialisation, with the labour principle. All 
this phraseology is absolutely meaningless, it is nothing but words. 
As a matter of fact the peasants came to the conclusion to which 
they did because of the fact that all landownership in Russia, 
whether peasant or landlord, communal or individual, was main- 
tained under antiquated, semi-feudal conditions. And the peasants, 
considering market conditions, were forced to demand the transfer 
of the land to all the people. The peasants claim that the tangle 
of old agrarian life can be untangled only through nationalisation. 
Their point of view is bourgeois; by equalised use of land they 
mean the confiscation of the lands of the rich landowners, but not 
the making of the land possessions of individual owners equal. By 
nationalisation they mean a redistribution of the land on the basis of 
the present peasant population. This is really a bourgeois project. 
None of the peasants mentioned equalisation or socialisation; what 
they asserted was that it was impossible to wait any longer, that the 
land had to be redivided, in other words, they maintained that 
under twentieth century conditions it was impossible to retain the 
old forms of agriculture. There were to be no variegated forms of 
landownership. In this there is not the slightest suggestion of so- 
cialisation. A brief summary of the statistics relating to land pos- 
sessions in 1905 shows that on the average 300 peasant families 
held as much land (2,000 desiatinas) as one landlord family. That 
is the reason why the peasant demand is called a demand for equali- 
sation. In this sense it is, of course, equalisation, but from this it 
does not at all follow that the peasant wants to equalise all small 
households. The bill of the 104 reveals the opposite. 

It is necessary to state these ideas, for they offer a scientific basis 
for our opinion that, from the bourgeois-democratic standpoint, the 
nationalisation of land is indispensable. But nationalisation is also 
necessary for another reason, it deals an overwhelming blow to the 
institution of private ownership of the means of production. To 
imagine that upon the abolition of private property in land every- 
thing in Russia will remain as of old, is simply absurd. 

In addition, the draft resolution contains some practical conclu- 
sions and demands. Of the minor corrections I shall call attention 
to the following: 

The first point in the resolution reads: "The party of the prole- 
tariat supports wholeheartedly the immediate and complete confis- 
cation of all the land owned by the landowners. . . ." Instead of 



REPORT ON THE AGRARIAN QUESTION 305 

"supports" we ought to say "fights for." . . , Our point of view is 
not that the peasants have not enough land and that they need 
more. This is the current opinion. We say that private landowner- 
ship is the basis of the oppression that crushes the peasantry and 
retards its development. The question is not whether the peasants 
have or have not enough land. Down with feudal oppression! this 
is how the matter should be put from the standpoint of the revolu- 
tionary class struggle, and not from the standpoint of those bureau- 
crats who keep on arguing as to how much land the peasants have 
and as to how to distribute it. The order of points two and three 
should, in my opinion, be reversed, because to us revolutionary 
initiative is more important than an abstract law; the law must be 
the result of such initiative. If you wait until the law is written, 
and do not in the meanwhile take revolutionary action, you will 
have neither the law nor the land. 

People often object to nationalisation by saying that it presup- 
poses a gigantic bureaucratic apparatus. This is true, but state land- 
ownership implies that every peasant is leasing the land from the 
state, and that the transfer of leaseholds is prohibited. The ques- 
tion therefore as to how much and what kind of land the peasant 
shall hold is to be entirely settled by the proper democratic, not 
bureaucratic, organ of authority. 

For "farm hands" we substitute "agricultural workers." Sev- 
eral comrades maintained that the word "farm hand" was offen- 
sive; objections were raised to this word. It should be removed. 

It is useless to speak now of proletarian-peasant committees or 
councils in connection with the settlement of the land question, for, 
as we see, the peasants have already created Soviets of Soldiers' 
Deputies, and have thus effected a division between the proletariat 
and the peasantry. 

Everybody knows that the petty-bourgeois defencist parties want 
the settlement of the land question postponed until the Constituent 
Assembly meets. We demand the immediate transfer of all lands 
to the peasants in a highly organised manner. We are absolutely 
against anarchistic seizures. You propose that the peasants enter 
into agreements with the landowners. We say that the land should 
be taken over right now. The lands must be cultivated immediately 
if we wish to avert hunger, to save the country from the collapse 
which is drawing nearer with terrific rapidity. One cannot now 
accept the prescriptions offered by Shingarev and the Cadets who 



306 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

suggest that we wait for the Constituent Assembly which is to 
convene on a date as yet unknown, nor can we now enter into 
agreements as to land tenure with the landowners. The peasants 
are already seizing the land without paying for it, or paying only 
one-fourth of the former rental. 

One comrade has brought a local resolution from the province of 
Penza. The resolution says that the peasants are seizing the land- 
owners' agricultural implements, which however they do not divide 
among the individual peasants, but turn into communal property. 
They establish a definite order, a rule, in which these implements- 
are to be used by the various peasants in the cultivation of their 
land. In resorting to such measures, they are chiefly interested in 
increasing agricultural production. This fact is of tremendous con- 
structive significance, despite the landowners and the capitalists 
who shout that this is anarchy. But if they keep on talking .and 
shouting about this as anarchy, and if the peasants in the mean- 
time sit back and wait, then you will indeed have anarchy. The 
peasants have proved that they understand economic conditions and 
social control much better than do the government officials, and 
that they apply such control a hundred times more efficiently. Such 
an undertaking, easily realisable in a small village, inevitably leads, 
to more sweeping measures. When the peasant comes to learn 
this, and he has already begun to learn it, the knowledge of 
bourgeois professors will not be needed; he will himself conclude 
that it is essential that the agricultural implements be utilised not 
only in the cultivation of pieces of land but in the cultivation of the 
entire land. What methods the peasants pursue in accomplishing 
this, are not important. We do not know whether they combine 
their individual fields for communal tilling and sowing or not, and 
it does not matter, if each community follows its own methods. 
What does matter is that the peasants are fortunate in not having 
with them a large number of petty-bourgeois intellectuals, who- 
style themselves Marxists, Social-Democrats, and with a grave mien 
teach the people that the time is not yet ripe for a Socialist revo- 
lution and that therefore the peasants must not take the land. For- 
tunately there are few such gentlemen in the Russian villages. If 
the peasants contented themselves merely with taking the land on 
the basis of agreements with the landowners, and failed to apply 
their own methods collectively, failure would be inevitable, and th& 
peasant committees would become mere toys, a game without odds* 



REPORT ON THE AGRARIAN QUESTION 307 

This is the reason why we propose to add point eight to the reso- 
lution. 

Once we know that the local peasants have themselves taken the 
initiative, it is our duty to declare that we support and recommend 
their action. Only in such action do we find the assurance that 
the revolution will not be limited to measures of a formal char- 
acter, that the struggle against the crisis will not remain a mere 
subject for departmental discussion and Shingarev's epistles, but 
that the peasants will actually go forth in an organised way to fight 
famine and to work for greater production. 

VIII 

REPLY TO N. S. ANGARSKY DURING THE DEBATE ON THE 
AGRARIAN QUESTION, MAY 11, 1917 172 

COMRADES: I think that Comrade Angarsky is guilty of a number 
of contradictions. I have been speaking of the material basis for 
the aspiration toward nationalisation. The peasants have no con- 
ception of the meaning of nationalisation. I have said that there 
are certain conditions prevailing on the all-Russian and world 
markets, and that those conditions are responsible for the high 
prices of grain. Every peasant sees, knows and feels these fluctua- 
tions of prices, and agriculture must be conducted in harmony 
with those conditions. I claim that our system of landholding is 
antiquated, that there is a discrepancy between the old and the 
new methods of agriculture, and that this discrepancy has impelled 
the peasant to strive for a change. The peasant is a private owner, 
asserts Comrade Angarsky. He is perfectly right. It is on the 
basis of this fact that Stolypin wanted to change the old system 
of agricultural relations; he did everything possible to bring that 
about, and still he failed, because it is impossible to change these 
relations without revolutionary changes. This is the material basis 
for the peasant's aspiration toward the nationalisation of land, 
though the peasant is absolutely ignorant as to the real meaning of 
nationalisation. The peasant who holds to private ownership has 
an instinctive tendency to maintain that the land belongs to God. 
The reason is that it has become impossible to continue under the 
old forms of landownership. What Comrade Angarsky proposes is 
the result of gross misunderstanding. The second paragraph of our 
resolution states that peasant landownership, from top to bottom 



308 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

and all along the line, is entangled in a maze of antiquated semi- 
feudal relations. But does that paragraph make any reference to 
the estates of the great landowners? No. Comrade Angarsky's 
amendment is based on a misapprehension. He attributed to me 
things I never said, things of which the peasants have not the slight- 
est conception. The peasants know the world situation by the price 
of grain and of other staple commodities. If a railroad passes 
through his village, the peasant learns these things in connection 
with his own household. It has become impossible to live in the 
old way. This the peasant feels, and he expresses this feeling in his 
radical demand for the overthrow of the entire old system of land- 
ownership. The peasant wants to be a proprietor, but he wants to 
be one on land newly divided; he wants to conduct his economic 
enterprise on land the ownership of which is determined by his 
present needs, and not by the needs prescribed for him by various 
bureaucrats. The peasant knows it perfectly well, but of course he 
expresses it differently, and this is the material basis for the peasant's 
aspiration toward the nationalisation of the land. 

IX 

REPORT ON THE REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME, 
MAY 11, 1917 "* 

COMRADES: The situation with regard to the revision of the party 
programme is this: The first draft of proposed changes in the the- 
oretical part of our programme and in a number of basic points 
in its political part was submitted to the commission. The whole 
programme must be revised, its complete obsoleteness having been 
pointed out in party circles long before the war. It has turned out, 
however, that there is not the slightest hope for discussing the pro- 
posed change of the programme as a whole. On the other hand, 
the committee has come to the unanimous conclusion that a revision 
of the programme is imperative, and that in a great number of 
questions it is possible and necessary to indicate the direction along 
which such revision should be made. We have therefore agreed 
on the following draft of a resolution which I am going to read 
to you now, making brief comments as I go along. We decline 
at the present time to put forth precisely formulated theses; we 
simply indicate the direction which any revision should follow. 

(Reads the resolution.) 



REPORT ON THE PARTY PROGRAMME 309 

The conference recognises as imperative the revision of the party pro- 
gramme along the following lines: 

1. Evaluating imperialism and the epoch of imperialist wars in connection 
with the approaching Socialist revolution: struggle with the distortion of 
Marxism by the so-called defencists who have forgotten Marx's slogan "the 
workers have no fatherland." 

This is so clear that no explanation is needed. Indeed the policy 
of our party has advanced considerably and has practically taken 
the stand suggested in the above formulation. 

2. Amending the theses and paragraphs dealing with the state; such 
amendment to he in the nature of a demand for a democratic proletarian- 
peasant republic (i.e., a type of state functioning without police, without a 
standing army, and without a privileged bureaucracy), and not for a bour- 
geois-parliamentary republic. 

Other formulations of this point had been proposed. One of 
them referred to the experience of the Paris Commune and to the 
experience of the period between the seventies and the eighties of 
the last century, but such a formulation is unsatisfactory and too 
general; another referred to a republic of Soviets of Workers' and 
Soldiers* Deputies; this formulation, too, proved unsatisfactory to 
a majority of the comrades. A formulation, however, is needed, 
because what matters is not the name of an institution, but its politi- 
cal character and structure. By saying "proletarian-peasant re- 
public," we indicate its social content and political character. 

3. Eliminating or amending the obsolete portions of the political pro- 
gramme. 

Our general political work within the Soviets of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies has practically gone in this direction; there is 
no doubt, therefore, that the change in this particular point of the 
programme and the precise formulation of our estimate of the mo- 
ment in which the revolution found our party, is not likely to provoke 
any disagreements. 

4. Recasting a number of points in the political minimum programme, so 
as to point out with greater precision more consistent democratic demands. 

5. Completely recasting in very- many places the out-of-date economic por- 
tions of the minimum programme and points relating to popular education. 

The main thing here is that these points have grown out of date; 
the trade union movement has outstripped them. 



310 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

6. Recasting the agrarian programme in conformity with the adopted reso- 
lution on the agrarian question. 

7. Inserting a demand for the nationalisation of a number of syndicates 
already ripe for such a step. 

This point has been formulated rather cautiously, so as to allow 
for a narrowing or a widening of the demand, depending upon the 
drafts that will be printed. 

8. Adding a characterisation of the main currents in contemporary So- 
cialism. 

The Communist Manifesto contains such an addition. 

The Conference directs the Central Committee to work out, on the basis 
of the above suggestions, a draft for a party programme. This is to be carried 
out within two months, and the draft to be submitted for ratification to the 
party congress. The Conference calls upon all organisations and all members of 
the party to consider drafts of the programme, to correct them, and to work out 
counter-proposals. 

It has been pointed out that it would be desirable to create a 
scientific organ and develop a literature dealing with this subject, 
but for this we have neither the men nor the means. This is the 
resolution that will hasten the revision of our programme. This 
resolution will be forwarded abroad to enable our comrades-inter- 
nationalists to take part in the revision of the programme undertaken 
by our party on the basis of the experience of the world war. 



SPEECH ON THE NATIONAL QUESTION, MAT 12, 1917 174 

EVER since 1903, when our party adopted its programme, we have 
been encountering the desperate opposition of the Poles. A study 
of the minutes of the second congress reveals that even then the 
Poles were advancing the same argument that they are advancing 
now, and that the Polish Social-Democrats had left the congress 
because our recognition of the right of nations to self-determination 
was unacceptable to them. And we have been confronted with this 
question ever since. Though imperialism was already in existence 
in 1903, there was no mention made of it in the many arguments 
then advanced. And the position of the Polish Social-Democracy 
is as strange and monstrous an error now as it was then. These 
people wish to reduce the stand of our party to that of the chau- 
vinists. 



SPEECH ON THE NATIONAL QUESTION 311 

The policy of Poland is thoroughly nationalistic owing to Rus- 
sia's age-long oppression of Poland, and the entire Polish people 
is permeated with one idea revenge upon the Muscovites. No one 
has oppressed the Poles as much as have the Russian people. The 
Russian people have served in the hands of the Tsars as the execu- 
tioner of Polish freedom. No one hates Russia so intensely as do 
the Poles, and this has resulted in a peculiar situation. On account 
of the Polish bourgeoisie, Poland has become an obstacle in the 
path of the Socialist movement. Let the world go hang, as long as 
Poland is free. Of course, to put the question in this light means 
to make a farce of internationalism. Of course, Poland is now a 
subject nation, but for the Polish nationalists to count on Russia 
to effect Poland's liberation is treason to internationalism. Still, the 
Polish nationalists have so imbued the Polish people with their 
spirit that this view prevails. 

The great historical service rendered by our comrades, the Polish 
Social-Democrats, consists in their advancing the slogan of inter- 
nationalism, in their maintaining that brotherly union of the prole- 
tariat of all countries was of supreme importance to them and that 
they would refuse to go to war for the liberation of Poland. This 
is their great service, and this is why we have always regarded as 
Socialists only those Social-Democrats in Poland. The others are 
social-patriots, Polish Plekhanovs. But this unique situation, where 
people, to safeguard Socialism, were forced to struggle against a 
rabid, morbid nationalism, has been productive of a strange phe- 
nomenon: The Polish comrades come and tell us that we must 
renounce the freedom of Poland, its right of separation. 

Why should we, Great-Russians, who have been oppressing a 
greater number of nations than any other people, why should we 
repudiate the right of separation for Poland, the Ukraine, Finland? 
We are asked to become chauvinists, because by doing that we would 
render the position of Social-Democrats in Poland less difficult. 
We make no pretence at seeking to liberate Poland, because the 
Polish people dwell between two states capable of fighting. But 
instead of teaching the Polish workers that chauvinists have no place 
in the Socialist Party and that only those Social-Democrats are real 
democrats who maintain that the Polish people ought to be free, the 
Polish Social-Democrats argue that just because they find the union 
with the Russian workers advantageous they are opposed to Poland's 
separation. They have a perfect right to do so. But these people 



312 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

fail to understand that to enhance internationalism it is not at all 
necessary to reiterate the same words. In Russia we must stress 
the right of separation for the subject nations, while in Poland we 
must stress the right of such nations to unite. The right to unite 
implies the right to separate. We Russians must emphasise the 
right to separate, while the Poles must emphasise the right to 
unite. 

We notice here a number of sophisms leading to a complete re- 
nunciation of Marxism. Comrade Piatakov's standpoint is a repe- 
tition of Rosa Luxemburg's standpoint. ... * (Holland is an ex- 
ample.) This is how Comrade Piatakov reasons, and this is also 
how he confutes himself. Theoretically he is against the right of 
separation, but to the people he declares that one who is against the 
right of separation is no Socialist. What Comrade Piatakov says is 
incredible confusion. In Western Europe most of the countries have 
settled their national questions long ago. When one says that the 
national question has been settled, one speaks of Western Europe. 
Comrade Piatakov applies this where it does not belong, to Eastern 
Europe, and we find ourselves in a ridiculous position. 

Think of the terrible mess that results! Finland is right at our 
side. Comrade Piatakov supplies no definite answer as to Finland; 
he is in utter confusion. In yesterday's Rabochaia Gazeta we have 
read that separatism is growing in Finland. Finns arriving here 
inform us that separatism is developing in their country, because the 
Cadets have refused to grant it complete autonomy. There a crisis 
is approaching; dissatisfaction with Governor-General Rodichev is 
rife, but here the Rabochaia Gazeta insists that the Finns ought to 
wait for the Constituent Assembly, that then an agreement will be ef- 
fected between Finland and Russia. What is an agreement? The 
Finns must maintain that they are entitled to determine their own 
destiny in their own way, and any Great-Russian who denies this right 
is a chauvinist. It would be another thing entirely if we said to 
the Finnish worker: Decide as is most advantageous to you. . . .* 
Comrade Piatakov simply rejects our slogan, when he says that 
this is no slogan for a Socialist revolution. He himself, however, 
has not offered any other slogan. The method of accomplishing a 
Socialist revolution under the slogan: "Down with the boundaries" 
is an utter absurdity. We have not succeeded in publishing the 
article in which I branded this view as "imperialist economism." 175 

*An omission in the minutes. Ed. 



SPEECH ON THE NATIONAL QUESTION 313 

What does "the method" of a Socialist revolution under the slogan 
"Down with the boundaries" mean? We maintain that the state is 
necessary, and the existence of a state presupposes boundaries. The 
state may of course be ruled by a bourgeois government, while we 
need the Soviets. But even the Soviets are confronted with the 
question of boundaries. What does it mean, "Down with the bounda- 
ries"? This is the beginning of anarchy. . . . The "method" of a 
Socialist revolution under the slogan "Down with the boundaries" 
is a hodgepodge. When the time is ripe for a Socialist revolution, 
when the revolution finally occurs, it will sweep across boundaries. 
We shall help it along, but how, we do not yet know. "The method 
of a Socialist revolution" is a mere phrase, devoid of meaning. In 
so far as the bourgeois revolution has left some problems unsolved, 
we shall solve them. As regards the separatist movement, we are 
neutral, indifferent. If Finland, if Poland, if the Ukraine break 
away from Russia, it is nothing terrible. Wherein is it bad? One 
who says so, is a chauvinist. One must be insane to continue the 
policy of Tsar Nicholas. Norway has separated from Sweden. . . . 
Once upon a time Alexander I and Napoleon traded peoples, once 
upon a time the Tsars were trading portions of Poland. Are we to 
continue this policy of the Tsars? This is repudiation of interna- 
tionalist tactics, this is chauvinism of the worst brand. Suppose 
Finland does separate, why is it so bad? In both peoples among 
the proletariat of Norway and Sweden mutual confidence increased 
after separation. The Swedish landowners wanted to wage war, 
but the Swedish workers refused to be drawn into such a war. 

All the Finns want now is autonomy. We stand for the complete 
freedom of Finland. Only when this ideal is realised, will faith 
in Russian democracy be strengthened, will the Finns refuse to sepa- 
rate. While Mr. Rodichev goes to Finland to haggle over autonomy, 
our Finnish comrades come here and maintain that they need 
autonomy. But they are met with a volley of cannon-shots and 
are told: "Wait for the Constituent Assembly." We, however, say: 
"Any Russian Socialist who denies freedom to Finland is a chau- 
vinist." 

We say that boundaries are determined by the will of the popula- 
tion. Russia, you must not dare fight over Courland! Germany, 
out with your armies from Courland! This is our solution of the 
separation problem. The proletariat must not resort to force, for 
it must not interfere with the freedom of peoples. Only then will 



314 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

the slogan "Down with the boundaries" be a true slogan, when 
the Socialist revolution has become a reality, and not a method. 
Then we shall say: Comrades, come unto us. ... 

Now war is an entirely different matter. When necessary, we 
shall not refuse to wage a revolutionary war. We are no pacifists. 
. . . But while we have Miliukov enthroned, and while he sends 
Rodichev to Finland, where he haggles shamefully with the Fin- 
nish people, we say to the Russian people: Don't you dare rape 
Finland; no people can be free which oppresses another people. 
In our resolution concerning Borgbjerg we state: Withdraw your 
armies, and let the nation settle this question by itself. But if the 
Soviet seizes power to-morrow, that will no longer constitute a 
"method of a Socialist revolution," we shall then say: Germany, 
out with your armies from Poland; Russia, out with your armies 
from Armenia, otherwise, the whole thing will be a lie. 

Regarding his oppressed Poland, Comrade Dzierzynski tells us 
that everybody is a chauvinist there. But why does not any Pole 
tell us what we should do with Finland, what we should do with the 
Ukraine? We have been arguing this question ever since 1903; 
it is becoming difficult to dwell on it. Go whither you please. 
... He who does not accept this point of view is an annexationist, 
a chauvinist. We are for a fraternal union of all nations. If there 
is a Ukrainian republic and a Russian republic, there will be closer 
contact, greater confidence between the two. If the Ukrainians see 
that we have a Soviet republic, they will not break away. But if 
we retain the Miliukov republic, they will break away. When Com- 
rade Piatakov, contradicting his own views, said that he is against 
the forcible retention of nations within the boundaries of Russia, 
he really recognised the principle of self-determination. We do not 
at all want the peasant in Khiva to live under the Khan of Khiva. 
By developing our revolution we shall influence the oppressed 
masses. Propaganda within the oppressed masses can be carried 
on only in this manner. 

But any Russian Socialist who does not recognise the freedom 
of Finland and the Ukraine, is bound to degenerate into a chau- 
vinist. And no sophisms, no references to a special "method'* 
vail help him justify himself. 



THE SITUATION WITHIN THE INTERNATIONAL 315 
XI 

SPEECH ON THE SITUATION WITHIN THE INTERNATIONAL AND THE 
TASKS OF THE RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOUR 
PARTY, MAY 12, 1917 176 

COMRADE ZINOVIEV himself recognised that our visit to Stockholm 
would be the last one, and that our presence there would be purely 
for informational purposes. 177 

When Grimm invited us to a conference, I refused to go, for I 
realised that it would be useless to talk to people who stood for 
social-chauvinism. We say: "No participation with social-chau- 
vinists." We come and address ourselves to any Zimmerwald sec- 
tion. Grimm had a moral and a formal right to write to-day's 
resolution. His right is based on Kautsky in Germany, on Longuet 
in France. This is how the matter stands officially: Grimm has 
announced that "we will disband our bureau, as soon as Huysmans 
organises a bureau." When we said that such a solution was not 
acceptable to Zimmerwald, he agreed, but declared that "that was 
the opinion of the majority," and he told the truth. 

As to our visit. "We shall get information, we shall get in touch 
with the Left Zimmerwald group," it is claimed. There is very 
little hope that we shall attract other elements. There is no use 
in creating illusions for ourselves; first, the visit will not take place; 
secondly, if it does, it will be our last one; thirdly, we cannot, 
because of technical obstacles, attract those elements that wish to 
break with the social-chauvinists. But let Comrade Nogin make 
the first and Comrade Zinoviev the last visit to Stockholm. As for 
me, I express the very legitimate wish that this "last visit" experi- 
ment may be performed as quickly and successfully as possible. 

XII 

SPEECH IN FAVOUR OF THE RESOLUTION ON THE 
POLITICAL SITUATION, MAY 12, 1917 

IN the resolution on the political situation, it would be wrong to 
speak only of Russian conditions. The war has bound us so indis- 
solubly that we would be guilty of a grave error, if we ignored the 
whole of international relations. 

The main subject treated in this resolution is the tasks with which 



316 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

the Russian proletariat may be confronted in case the world move- 
ment brings it face to face with a social revolution. 

The objective conditions for a Socialist revolution that undoubtedly existed 
even before the war in the more developed and advanced countries, have 
been and are ripening with tremendous rapidity as a result of the war. The 
crowding out and ruin of small and medium-sized economic enterprises is 
proceeding at an accelerating pace. The concentration and internationalisa- 
tion of capital is making gigantic strides. Monopoly capitalism is changing 
into state monopoly capitalism. Social regulation of production and distribu- 
tion is, under the pressure of circumstances, being introduced in many coun- 
tries. Some are introducing universal labour service. 

Present economic conditions have caused the disappearance of 
planless capitalism. Up to the war there were monopolies, trusts, 
syndicates; since the war we have had state monopoly. Universal 
labour service is something new, something that constitutes part of 
a Socialist whole, this is often overlooked by those who fear to 
face present conditions frankly. 

The central point of the first part of the resolution is an analysis 
of conditions of capitalist economy throughout the world. It is 
noteworthy that twenty-seven years ago Engels pointed out that to 
characterise capitalism as something distinguished by its planless- 
ness, means to overlook the role played by trusts, and is unsatis- 
factory. Engels' criticism was that "when we come to the trust, 
then planlessness disappears," though there is capitalism. This 
remark of Engels is particularly appropriate now, when we have 
a military state, when we have state-monopoly capitalism. The in- 
troduction of planning into industry keeps the workers enslaved 
none the less, though it enables the capitalists to gather in their 
profits in a more planful way. We now witness the metamorphosis 
of capitalism into a higher, a regulated form of capitalism. 
The second part of the resolution requires no explanations. 
The third part requires more detailed comment 

The proletariat of Russia, operating in one of the most backward countries 
in Europe, surrounded by a vast petty-peasant population, cannot make its 
aim the immediate realisation of a Socialist transformation. 

Yet it would be a grave error to infer from the foregoing that the prole- 
tariat must support the bourgeoisie, or that we must keep our activities within 
the boundaries acceptable to the petty bourgeoisie, or that the proletariat must 
renounce its leading role in the matter of explaining to the people the im- 
perative urgency of a number of measures that are ripe to be put into prac- 
tice and that lead to Socialism. Such inference would be in practice equiva- 
lent to going over to the side of the bourgeoisie. 

From the first premise it is customary to make the following 



RESOLUTION ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION 317 

conclusion: "Russia is a backward country, a peasant, a petty- 
bourgeois country, and that is why it is futile to speak of a social 
revolution there." One forgets, however, that the war has placed 
us in extraordinary circumstances, and that alongside of the petty 
bourgeoisie we have large-scale capital. But what should the Soviet 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies do when it gets into power? 
Should it turn to the side of the bourgeoisie? Our answer is that the 
working class will continue the class struggle. 

What is possible and what is imperative with the Soviet of Work- 
ers' and Soldiers' Deputies in power? 

First of all, the nationalisation of the land. The nationalisation 
of the land is a bourgeois measure, it does not exclude capitalism, 
nor does capitalism exclude it. Nationalisation, however, is bound 
to deal a heavy blow to the petty proprietors. Further: 

. . . establishment of government control over all the banks which are to 
be united into a single central bank, also control over insurance companies 
and the larger capitalist syndicates (for example, the sugar syndicate, the 
coal syndicate, the metal syndicate, etc.), all this to be accompanied by a 
change to a more just and progressive taxation of incomes and property. 
Economic conditions are ripe for such measures. From the technical point 
of view they can be carried out immediately. From the political point of 
view they are likely to get the support of the overwhelming majority of peas- 
ants, who in every respect will gain by such reforms. 

This point provoked discussion. I already had occasion to speak 
of this in the Pravda in connection with Plekhanov's articles. "When 
they talk of the impossibility of Socialism," I wrote, "they try to 
speak of the latter in a way most advantageous to themselves, they 
represent it vaguely, indefinitely, as some sort of a jump." Kautsky 
himself wrote: "No Socialist speaks of the abolition of private 
property in the case of the peasants." But does that mean that 
existing large-scale capital must make it unnecessary for the Soviets 
of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies to control production, to control 
the sugar-manufacturers' syndicates, etc.? This measure is not 
Socialism, it is a transitional measure, but the carrying out of 
such measures together with the existence of Soviets of Workers' 
and Peasants' Deputies will bring about a situation where Russia 
stands with one foot in Socialism, we say with one foot because 
the peasant majority is in control of the other economic part of 
die country. It cannot be denied that economically we are ripe for 
a change. To carry out this change politically, we must get the 
majority, and the majority consists of peasants who are naturally 



318 THE ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

interested in such changes. Whether they will prove sufficiently 
organised is another matter; we are not responsible for them. 

An old and oft-repeated objection to Socialism is that Socialism 
means "barracks for the masses," "bureaucratic rigidity in ruling 
the masses." The question of Socialism should be viewed now in 
a different and new light. We must take it out of the realm of 
the nebulous and place it in the realm of practical measures: nation- 
alisation of land, control over syndicates, etc. 

All the measures just indicated, as well as others of the same nature, could 
and should be not merely discussed and prepared so that they might be 
carried out on a national scale in case the proletarians and semi-proletarians 
gained power, but, -whenever opportunity presents itself, should be carried 
into life immediately by local revolutionary organs of people's power. 

In carrying out the above measures, it is necessary to exercise extreme 
circumspection and caution, and to win a solid majority of the population 
as well as its intelligent conviction that the country is ready for the prac- 
tical introduction of this or that measure, hut it is in this direction that we 
must rivet the attention and the efforts of the class-conscious vanguard of the 
proletarian masses, who are in duty bound to help the peasant masses find 
an escape from the present economic chaos. 

"This is a bourgeois revolution, it is therefore useless to speak 
of Socialism," say our opponents. But we say just the reverse: 
"Since the bourgeoisie cannot find a way out of the present situa- 
tion, the revolution is bound to go on." We must not confine our- 
selves to democratic phrases, we must make the situation clear to 
the masses, we must indicate to them a series of practical measures: 
They must take over the syndicates and must control them through 
the Soviets of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies, etc. When all such 
measures are carried out, Russia will stand with one foot in Social- 
ism. Our economic programme must indicate a way to escape eco- 
nomic chaos, this is what should guide our actions. 

XIII 

CONCLUDING REMARKS AT THE CLOSING OF THE 
CONFERENCE, MAY 12, 1917 

DUE to lack of time Lenin declined to speak in favour of changing 
the name of the party. He referred, however, to his newly written 
pamphlet rAe Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution, * which 
will serve as material for discussion in the local party organisations. 

A few words about the conference. 

There was little time and much work. The conditions in which 

*See pp. 130-157 of this book. Ed. 



CONCLUDING REMARKS 319 

our party finds itself are difficult. The defencist party is large, but 
the proletarian masses look with disfavour upon defencism and the 
imperialist war. Our resolutions are not adapted to the under- 
standing of the large masses; they will serve, however, to unify the 
activity of our agitators and propagandists; the readers will find 
in them guidance for their activities. We have to talk to millions, 
we must draw additional forces from the masses, we must take 
hold of the more educated and class-conscious workers who could 
explain our theses in a way intelligible to the masses. We have 
made an effort to give in our brochures a more popular presentation 
of our resolutions, and we hope that our comrades will do the 
same thing locally. The proletariat will find in our resolutions 
material to guide it in its movement toward the second stage of our 
revolution. 



PREFACE TO IMPERIALISM AS THE FINAL STAGE OF 
CAPITALISM 178 

THE pamphlet that I am herewith presenting to the attention of 
the reader was written in Zurich in the spring of 1916. Owing to 
the conditions under which I had to work there, I was naturally 
handicapped, to a certain extent, by the lack of French and English 
books and, to a very great extent, by the lack of Russian books. 
However, the most important English work on imperialism, the 
book of J. A. Hobson, I had studied with all the attention which I 
think that work deserves. 179 

This pamphlet was written with the Tsar's censor in mind. That 
was the reason why I had to confine myself to a strictly theoretical, 
mostly economic, analysis. As for the few indispensable political 
remarks, they had to be formulated with the greatest caution, with 
subtleties and in the accursed ^Esopian language which tsarism had 
forced upon all revolutionists who undertook to write "legal" works. 

Now that Russia is free, it is painful to reread those places in 
the pamphlet which have been distorted, mangled, and cramped 
by the ever-present thought of the Tsar's censor. That imperialism 
is on the eve of a rapidly approaching Socialist revolution, that 
social-chauvinism (Socialism in words, chauvinism in deeds), is an 
out-and-out betrayal of Socialism, is a complete desertion to the 
camp of the bourgeoisie, that this schism in the labour movement is 
closely connected with the objective conditions of imperialism, etc. 
all this I was forced to express in "slave" language. The reader in- 
terested in this question I must direct to the articles which I wrote 
abroad in 1914-1917, 180 which are soon to appear in a new edition.* 
I call especial attention to one place on pages 119 and 120.** 
Here, in order to explain to the reader in a "legal" form the shame- 
ful lies of the capitalists and the social-chauvinists who have deserted 
to their side (and whom Kautsky fights so inconsistently) with re- 

* These writings covering the period of the "World War will be published 
as Volumes XVIII and XIX of the Collected Works. Ed. 

* * First Russian edition of Imperialism as the Final Stage of Capitalism, 
1917.-: Ed. 

320 



PREFACE TO IMPERIALISM 321 

gard to annexations, in order to expose the manner in which the 
latter try to condone the annexationist policies of their capitalists, I 
was forced to resort to ... Japan as an illustration. Where I say- 
Japan, the careful reader will easily substitute Russia, and where I 
say Korea, he will read Finland, Poland, Courland, Ukraine, Khiva, 
Bokhara, Esthonia, and other regions inhabited by people other than 
Great-Russians. 

I hope that my pamphlet will help to clarify a fundamental eco- 
nomic question without the study of which there can be no intelligent 
estimate of contemporary war and contemporary politics the ques- 
tion of the economic essence of imperialism. 

Written May 9, 1917. 

Printed in 1917 in Imperialism as the Final Stage of Capitalism. Published 
by the firm "Zhizn i 2nanie. M 



MATERIALS RELATING TO THE REVISION OF THE 
PARTY PROGRAMME 



First published in the pamphlet Materials Relat* 
ing to the Revision of the Party Programme by 
the firm "Priboi," June, 1917. 



Couiajii-HeHOffDaTHHecfrafl Fadonafl 



Marepiajiu no nepecNiorpy 
napiiRHOH nporpawwbi, 



PE4AKUIER H Cb 

H. 




1017. 

Title Page of the Pamphlet, Materials Relating to the Revision of the 
Party Programme, Petrograd, 1917 (see p. 325). 



MATERIALS RELATING TO THE REVISION OF THE 
PARTY PROGRAMME 181 

I 

INTRODUCTION TO THE PAMPHLET, Materials Relating to the Revision 
of the Party Programme 

THE Central Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour 
Party ("Bolsheviks") has instructed the undersigned to publish 
immediately all the material at the disposal of the Central Com- 
mittee relating to the revision of the party programme. 

This material consists of the following: 

A. The first draft of changes to be made in the theoretical and 
political parts of the programme submitted by the writer of these 
lines to the Ail-Russian Conference of the R.S.-D.L.P. (May 7-12, 
1917) and considered only by a committee formed at the confer- 
ence for the purpose of working out this problem. 

B. Remarks regarding the draft, or in connection with it, made 
by the committee or its individual members. 

C. My reply to those remarks. 

D. A complete draft of changes to be made in the economic parts 
of the minimum programme worked out during the conference 
(May 7-12, 1917) by its sub-committee on the protection of labour. 

E. A draft, accompanied by brief explanatory notes, of changes 
to be made in those parts of the party programme which deal with 
popular education. This draft was worked out by N. K. Krupskaia 
after the conference. 

Since the chief task of the party at present is to attract through 
the publication of this material the greatest possible number of 
comrades into active participation in the preparation of a party 
programme, I am publishing this material together with a number 
of brief explanatory notes. 

Put together, the above list of proposed changes in the programme 
forms the draft of a complete text of a new programme. I there- 
fore place at the end of this pamphlet both the old and the new 
texts of the programme, but so arranged as to enable the reader to 

325 



326 REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 

see the whole material at a glance, and make it easier for him to 
compare the texts and to insert his own corrections. 

In accordance with the instructions of the Central Committee, I 
urge all comrades, members of the party, as well as sympathisers, 
to reprint this material in as many party publications as possible, 
to introduce it to each and every member of our party, and to 
address to the office of the Pravda (Moika, 32, Petrograd, attention 
of Central Committee, Material Relating to Programme Revision) 
all possible suggestions and drafts. 

May 20, 1917. 



II 

PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE THEORETICAL, POLITICAL AND SEVERAL 
OTHER PARTS OF THE PROGRAMME 

AT the end of that part of the programme which deals with general 
principles (following the words "upon the point of view of the 
proletariat") insert: 

At the present time, approximately since the beginning of the 
twentieth century, world capitalism has reached the stage of im- 
perialism. Imperialism, or the epoch of finance capital, represents 
such a highly developed capitalist economy when monopolist 
combines of capitalists syndicates, cartels, trusts have assumed 
decisive importance, enormously concentrated banking capital has 
fused with industrial capital, the export of capital into foreign coun- 
tries has grown to colossal dimensions, the whole globe has been 
territorially partitioned among the richest countries, and the eco- 
nomic partitioning of the world among international trusts has 
begun. 

Imperialist wars, i. e., wars for world domination, for markets 
where banking capital can be utilised, for the stifling of small and 
weak peoples, are inevitable in such a state of affairs. And it is 
precisely this that characterises the first great imperialist war, the 
war of 1914-1917. 

The exceedingly high stage of development attained by world 
capitalism in general; the displacement of free competition by 
monopoly capitalism; the preparation, owing to the development 
of banks and capitalist combines, of an apparatus for social regula- 
tion of the process of production and distribution of goods; the 



REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 327 

rising cost of living resulting from the growth of capitalist monopo- 
lies, and the increasing pressure exerted by such syndicates over 
the working class; the horrors and suffering, the ruin and madness 
bred by the imperialist war all these put together make the present 
stage in capitalist development an era of proletarian and Socialist 
revolution. 

This era has begun. 

Only a proletarian, Socialist revolution is able to lead humanity 
out of the blind alley created by imperialism and imperialist wars. 
Whatever difficulties, possible temporary reverses, and waves of 
counter-revolution the revolution may encounter, the final victory 
of the proletariat is certain. 

In view of the objective conditions, the first thing to do now is- 
to prepare the proletariat, immediately and on all points, for the 
conquering of political power, in order to be able to bring into life 
political and economic changes that form the content of a Socialist 
revolution. 

The fulfillment of this task requires the fullest trust, the closest 
fraternal ties, the completest unity of revolutionary action of the 
entire working class in all the advanced countries; the task cannot 
be carried out without an immediate break, in principle, from the 
bourgeois perversion of Socialism which has gained the upper hand 
among the leadership of an overwhelming majority of die official 
Social-Democratic parties. Such a perversion is, on the one hand,, 
the tendency toward social-chauvinism, Socialism in words, chau- 
vinism in deeds, the use of the slogan "national defence" for the 
purpose of protecting the predatory interests of their own national 
bourgeoisie; on the other hand, the equally wide and international 
movement of the so-called "centre" which stands for unity with the 
social-chauvinists and for the preservation or rectification of the 
bankrupt Second International, a movement oscillating between 
social-chauvinism and the revolutionary international struggle of 
the proletariat for the realisation of a Socialist order. 

In the minimum programme the whole beginning (from the 
words "on the road" up to paragraph 1) should be eliminated, and 
replaced by the following: 

At the present moment in Russia, when the Provisional Govern- 
ment, which- is part and parcel of the capitalist class and enjoys the 



328 REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 

confidence not absolutely, to be sure of the vast masses of the 
petty-bourgeois population, has undertaken to convene a Constituent 
Assembly, the party of the proletariat is confronted with the imme- 
diate task of striving for a system of state organisation which would 
best secure economic progress and the rights of the people as a 
whole, and also make the transition into Socialism as painless as 
possible. 

The party of the proletariat cannot confine itself to a bourgeois- 
parliamentary democratic republic, which throughout the world 
maintains and strives to perpetuate monarchist means for oppress- 
ing the masses, namely, the police, the standing army, and the privi- 
leged bureaucracy. 

The party fights for a more democratic workers' and peasants' 
republic, wherein the police and the standing -army would be com- 
pletely eliminated and replaced by a general arming of the people, 
by a universal militia; all the officers would be not only elective, 
but also subject to instant recall by a majority of electors; all offi- 
cers, without exception, would be paid at the rate of the average 
wage of a skilled worker; all representative parliamentary insti- 
tutions would gradually give place to Soviets of the people's repre- 
sentatives (from various classes and professions, or from various 
localities), functioning both as legislative and executive bodies. 

The constitution of the democratic republic of Russia must ensure: 

1. The sovereignty of the people; the whole power of the state 
must be in the hands of the people's representatives, elected by the 
people and subject to instant recall who are to constitute one 
popular assembly, one chamber. 

2. Add: 

Proportional representation at all elections; recall, without ex- 
ception, of all delegates and elected officers, at any time, by the will 
of the majority of their electors. 

3. Add: 

Abolition of all state-appointed local and district officers.* 

In 8. Express the last sentence thus: 

Introduction of the use of the native language in all local, public 
and state institutions; the obligatory state language to be abolished. 

9. Change to read: 

* See in Pravda, No. 68, June 10, 1917, F. Engels' discussion of the Marxist 
and consistently democratic view on the matter of appointing and approving 
of officers elected by the local population. [See Book II of this volume for 
Lenin s article reprinted from the Pravda of June 10, 1917. 



REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 329 

The right of all nationalities which are now parts of the Russian 
state freely to separate and to form independent states. The republic 
of the Russian people should draw to itself other peoples or 
nationalities not through violence, but through voluntary and mutual 
agreement to build a common state. The common aims and broth- 
erly union of the workers of all countries are incompatible with 
either direct or indirect violence practiced upon other nationalities. 

11. Change to read: 

Election by the people of judges and other officers, in civil 
service as well as in the army, and recall of any of them, at any 
time, by the will of the majority of their electors. 

12. Change to read: 

Replacement of the police and the standing army by a general 
arming of the people; workers and employees to receive their 
regular wages from the capitalists for the time given to public service 
in the people's militia. 

After the fiscal section of the programme (after the words "on 
incomes and inheritances") insert: 

On the one hand, the great development of capitalism in the bank- 
ing business and in the trustified branches of industry, and on the 
other hand, the economic chaos brought on by the imperialist 
war and the consequent omnipresent demand for state and public 
control over the production and distribution of the most important 
products, impel the party to demand the nationalisation of banks, 
syndicates (trusts), etc. 

The agrarian programme to be formulated thus: 

Retain the beginning (from the words "in order to avoid rem- 
nants" to the words "the party demands") ; the subsequent parts 
change as follows: 

1. Fights with all its strength for the immediate and complete 
confiscation of all the lands owned by the rich landlords (as well 
as appanages, church lands, crown lands, etc., etc.) ; 

2. Stands for the immediate turning over of all lands to the 
peasantry organised in Soviets of Peasants' Deputies or in some 
other organs of local self-government consisting of representatives 
elected in a thoroughly democratic manner and completely inde- 
pendent of landowners and bureaucrats; 

3. Demands the nationalisation of all lands in the state; while 



330 REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 

the title to the land is in the hands of the state, nationalisation 
implies that the state turns over the right of managing the land to 
local democratic institutions; 

4. Upholds the initiative of those peasant committees which in 
many localities throughout Russia are transferring the rich land- 
owners' live stock as well as implements to the peasants organised 
into such committees for the purpose of socially regulated utilisa- 
tion of such stock and implements in the cultivation of all land. 

5. Urges the village proletarians and semi-proletarians to try to 
transform each private estate into a sufficiently large model farm, to 
be conducted, at the expense of the community, hy the local Soviet 
of agricultural workers, under the direction of trained agricul- 
turists, with the use of the best technical appliances. 

Finally, the conclusion of the agrarian programme, from the 
words: "Under all circumstances and under whatever conditions the 
democratic agrarian reform may occur" to the words: "All ex- 
ploitation,'* leave intact. 

The conclusion of the entire programme, the last two paragraphs 
(from the words "striving to achieve" to the very end) eliminate 
completely. 

Written in the beginning of May, 1917. 



Ill 

CONCERNING THE REMARKS OF THE COMMISSION OF THE 
ALL-RUSSIAN APRIL CONFERENCE 

CONCERNING the remarks dealing with the general part of the pro- 
gramme, I must say the following: 

In my opinion, there is no need for reworking the entire general 
part of the programme. The plan for such a change as suggested 
by the committee seems to me theoretically incorrect. In its present 
form the general part of the programme contains a description and 
analysis of the cardinal and most essential features of capitalism 
as a socio-economic system. Fundamentally these features have 
not been changed by imperialism, the era of finance capital. Im- 



REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 331 

perialism is a continuation of the development of capitalism, its 
highest stage; it is in a sense the transition stage from capitalism 
to Socialism. 

I do not see where the addition of an analysis of imperialism 
to the general analysis of the basic features of capitalism is 
"mechanical." Imperialism, in fact, neither does, nor can, transform 
capitalism from top to bottom. Imperialism aggravates and sharpens 
the contradictions of capitalism, it "intertwines" monopoly with free 
competition, but it cannot abolish exchange, the market, competi- 
tion, crises, etc. 

Imperialism is capitalism passing out, not capitalism gone; it is 
capitalism dying, not dead. Not pure monopolies, but monopolies 
alongside of competition, exchange, markets, and crises, this, gen- 
erally, is the most essential feature of imperialism. 

This is why it is theoretically unsound to delete the general 
analysis of exchange, of production for the market, of crises, 
etc., and to "replace" it by an analysis of imperialism as a whole. 
There is no such whole. There is the transition from competition to 
monopoly, and our programme therefore would be much more cor- 
rect and much more true to life if it retained the general analysis 
of exchange, production for the market, crises, etc., and had a 
characterisation of the growing monopolies added to it. It is this 
very combination of contradictory principles, of competition and 
monopoly, that is the essence of imperialism, it is this that leads 
to the final crash, the Socialist revolution. 

In Russia, especially, it would be unsound to depict imperialism 
as an integrated whole (imperialism is altogether not an integrated 
whole) because in Russia there are still many realms and branches 
of labour that are only passing from the stage of natural or semi- 
natural economy to capitalism. These are antiquated, these are 
weak, but after all they do exist, and under certain circumstances 
they may cause delay in the downfall of capitalism. 

The programme proceeds and it should proceed from the sim- 
plest phenomena of capitalism to the more complex and "higher" 
ones, from exchange to production for the market, to the crowding 
out of small industries by the larger ones, to crises, etc., all the 
way to imperialism which is the highest stage of capitalism and 
which is growing and has grown only now in the advanced coun- 
tries. This is how matters stand in life. To begin by placing 



332 REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 

"exchange" in general next to the export of capital is historically 
unsound and theoretically incorrect. 
These are my objections to the remarks made by the committee. 

Written May, 1917, 



IV 

DRAFT OF REVISED PROGRAMME 
THE OLD AND THE NEW TEXTS OF THE PROGRAMME 

To enable the reader more easily and more conveniently to com- 
pare the old and the new texts of the programme, both texts are 
printed in the following manner: 

Ordinary type is used in setting up those parts of the old pro- 
gramme which remain unchanged in the new. 

Italics are used for those parts of the old programme which have 
been completely omitted in the new programme. [In the present 
edition these parts are set in smaller type. Ed.] 

Bold italics are used for those parts of the new programme which 
were not in the old programme. [In the present edition these parts 
are set in italics. Ed*~\ 

PROGRAMME OF THE RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC 
LABOUR PARTY 

THE development of exchange has established such close ties 
among all the peoples of the civilised world that the great pro- 
letarian movement toward emancipation was bound to become and 
has long since become international. 

Considering itself one of the detachments of the universal army 
of the proletariat, the Russian Social-Democracy is pursuing the 
same ultimate goal as that for which the Social-Democrats in other 
countries are striving. This ultimate goal is determined by the 
character of modern bourgeois society and by the course of its 
development. The chief feature of such a society is production 
for the market on the basis of capitalist production relations whereby 
the largest and most important part of the means of production 
and exchange of commodities belongs to a numerically small class 



REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 333 

of people, while the overwhelming majority of the population con- 
sists of proletarians and semi-proletarians who, hy their economic 
situation, are forced either continually or at intervals to sell their 
labour power, z. e., to hire themselves out to the capitalists, and by 
their labour to create the incomes of the upper classes of society. 

The expansion of the capitalist system of production runs parallel 
to technical progress, which, by increasing the economic im- 
portance of large enterprises, tends to eliminate the small inde- 
pendent producers, to convert some of them into proletarians, to 
reduce the socio-economic role of others and, in some localities, to 
place them in more or less complete, more or less open, more or 
less onerous dependence on capital. 

Moreover, the same technical progress enables the enterprisers 
to utilise to an ever-greater extent woman and child labour in the 
process of production and exchange of commodities. And since, 
on the other hand, technical improvements lead to a decrease 
in the enterpriser's demand for human labour power, the demand 
for labour power necessarily lags behind the supply, and there is 
in consequence greater dependence of hired labour upon capital, 
and increased exploitation of the former by the latter. 

Such a state of affairs in the bourgeois countries, as well as the 
ever-growing competition among those countries on the world mar- 
ket, render the sale of goods which are produced in greater and 
greater quantities ever more difficult. Overproduction with the 
resulting more or less acute industrial crises, which in turn are fol- 
lowed by more or less protracted periods of industrial stagnation, 
are the inevitable consequences of the development of the produc- 
tive forces in bourgeois society. Crises and periods of industrial 
stagnation in their turn tend still further to impoverish the small 
producers, still further to enhance the dependence of hired labour 
upon capital, still further to accelerate the relative, and sometimes 
the absolute, deterioration of the condition of the working class. 

Thus, technical progress, signifying increased productivity of 
labour and greater social wealth, becomes in bourgeois society the 
cause of more striking social inequalities, of more unbridgeable gulfs 
between the wealthy and the poor, of greater insecurity of exist- 
ence, of unemployment, and of numerous privations for ever larger 
and larger masses of toilers. 

But together with the growth and development of all these con- 
tradictions inherent in bourgeois society, there is the concomitant 



334 REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 

growth of dissatisfaction with the present order among the toiling 
and exploited masses, the concomitant growth in the number and 
solidarity of the proletarians, as well as the sharpening of their 
struggle against the exploiters. At the same time, technical progress, 
by concentrating the means of production and exchange, by socialis- 
ing the process of labour in capitalist enterprises, creates more and 
more rapidly the material possibility for replacing capitalist pro- 
duction relations by Socialist ones, i. e., the possibility for a Socialist 
revolution, which is the ultimate aim of all the activities of inter- 
national Social-Democracy as the class-conscious expression of the 
proletarian movement. 

By introducing social, instead of private, ownership of the means 
of production and exchange, by introducing well-regulated organisa- 
tion in the social process of production so that the well-being and 
the many-sided development of all members of society may be 
insured, the social revolution of the proletariat will abolish the 
division of society into classes and thus emancipate all of oppressed 
humanity, and will put an end to all forms of exploitation of one 
part of society by another. 

A necessary condition for this social revolution is the dictatorship 
of the proletariat, i . e., the conquering by the proletariat of such 
political power as would enable it to crush any resistance offered 
by the exploiters. In its effort to make the proletariat capable of 
fulfilling its great historical mission, international Social-Democracy 
organises it into an independent political party in opposition to all 
bourgeois parties, directs all the manifestations of its class struggle, 
discloses before it the irreconcilable conflict between the interests of 
the exploiters and those of the exploited, and clarifies for it the 
historical significance of the imminent social revolution, and the 
conditions necessary for its coming. At the same time, it reveals 
to the other sections of the toiling and the exploited masses the 
hopelessness of their condition in capitalist society and the need of 
a social revolution if they wish to be free of the capitalist yoke. 
The party of the working class, the Social-Democracy, calls upon 
all strata of the toiling and exploited population to join its ranks 
in so far as they adopt the point of view of the proletariat. 

At the present time, approximately since the beginning of the 
twentieth century, world capitalism has reached the stage of im- 
perialism. Imperialism, or the epoch of finance capital, represents 
such a highly developed capitalist economy when monopolist 



REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 335 

combines of capitalists syndicates, cartels, trusts have assumed 
decisive importance, enormously concentrated banking capital has 
fused with industrial capital, the export of capital into foreign coun- 
tries has grown to colossal dimensions, the whole globe has been 
territorially partitioned among the richest countries, and the eco- 
nomic partitioning of the world among international trusts has 
begun. 

Imperialist wars, z. e. 9 wars for world domination, for markets 
where banking capital can be utilised, for the stifling of small 
and weak peoples, are inevitable in such a state of affairs. And it 
is precisely this that characterises the first great imperialist war 9 
the war of 1914-1917. 

The exceedingly high stage of development attained by world 
capitalism in general; the displacement of free competition by 
monopoly capitalism; the preparation, owing to the development of 
banks and capitalist combines, of an apparatus for social regulation 
of the process of production and distribution of goods; the rising 
cost of living resulting from the growth of capitalist monopolies, 
and the increasing pressure exerted by such syndicates over the 
working class; the horrors and suffering, the ruin and madness bred 
by the imperialist war all these put together make the present 
stage in capitalist development an era of proletarian and Socialist 
revolution. 

This era has begun. 

Only a proletarian, Socialist revolution is able to lead humanity 
out of the blind alley created by imperialism and imperialist wars. 
Whatever difficulties, possible temporary reverses, and waves of 
counter-revolution the revolution may encounter, the final victory 
of the proletariat is certain. 

In view of the objective conditions, the first thing to do now is 
to prepare the proletariat, immediately and on all points, for the 
conquering of political power, in order to be able to bring into life 
political and economic changes that form the content of a Socialist 
revolution. 

The fulfillment of this task requires the fullest trust, the closest 
fraternal ties, the completest unity of revolutionary action of the 
entire working class in all the advanced countries; the task cannot 
be carried out without an immediate break, in principle, from the 
bourgeois perversion of Socialism which has gained the upper hand 



336 REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 

among the leadership of an, overwhelming majority of the official 
Social-Democratic parties. Such a perversion is, on the one hand, 
the tendency toward social-chauvinism, Socialism in words, chau- 
vinism in deeds, the use of the slogan "national defence" for the, 
purpose of protecting the predatory interests of their own national 
bourgeoisie; on the other hand, the equally wide and international 
movement of the so-called "centre" which stands for unity with the 
social-chauvinists and for the preservation or rectification of the 
bankrupt Second International a movement oscillating between 
social-chauvinism and the revolutionary international struggle of the 
proletariat for the realisation of a Socialist order. 

On the road toward their common final goal which is conditioned by the 
prevalence of the capitalist system of production throughout the civilised world, 
the Social-Democrats of different countries must needs devote themselves 
to different immediate tasks, first, because the capitalist system is not every- 
where developed to the same degree; secondly, because in different countries 
its development takes place in a different socio-political setting. 

In Russia, whore capitalism has already become the dominant mode of pro- 
duction, there are still preserved numerous vestiges of the old pre-capitalist 
order, when the toiling masses were the serfs of the rich landowners, the state, 
or the head of the state. 

Greatly hampering economic progress, these vestiges interfere with the 
many-sided development of the class struggle of the proletariat, help to preserve 
and strengthen the most barbarous forms of exploitation which the state and 
the propertied classes foist upon millions and millions of peasants, and keep 
the whole people in darkness and subjection. 

The most outstanding among these relics of the past, the mightiest bulwark 
of all this barbarism, is the tsarist monarchy. In its very nature it is bound 
to be inimical to any social movement, cannot but be bitterly opposed to all the 
aspirations of the proletariat toward freedom. 

By reason of the above, the first and immediate task put before itself by 
the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party is to overthrow the tsarist mon- 
archy and to create a democratic republic whose constitution would guarantee 
the following: 

At the present moment in Russia, when the Provisional Govern- 
ment, which is part and parcel of the capitalist class and enjoys the 
confidence not absolutely, to be sure of the vast masses of the 
petty-bourgeois population, has undertaken to convene a Constituent 
Assembly, the party of the proletariat is confronted with the im- 
mediate task of striving for a system of state organisation which 
would best secure economic progress and the rights of the people 
as a whole, and also make the transition into Socialism as painless 
as possible. 

The party of the proletariat cannot confine itself to a bourgeois- 



REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 337 

parliamentary democratic republic, which throughout the world 
maintains and strives to perpetuate monarchist means for oppress- 
ing the masses, namely, the police, the standing army, and the privi- 
leged bureaucracy. 

The party fights for a more democratic workers 9 and peasants 9 
republic, wherein the police and the standing army would be com- 
pletely eliminated and replaced by a general arming of the people, 
by a universal militia; all the officers would be not only elective, 
but also subject to instant recall by a majority of electors; all 
officers, without exception, would be paid at the rate of the average 
wage of a skilled worker; all representative parliamentary insti- 
tutions would gradually give place to Soviets of the people's repre- 
sentatives (from various classes and professions, or from various 
localities) , functioning both as legislative and executive bodies. 
The constitution of the democratic republic of Russia must ensure: 
1. The sovereignty of the people; the whole power of the state 
must be in the hands of the people's representatives, elected by the 
people and subject to instant recall who are to constitute one popu- 
lar assembly, one chamber. 

1. The sovereignty of the people, e., the concentration of all supreme state 
power in the hands of a legislative assembly, consisting of the people's repre- 
sentatives, and forming one chamber. 

2. Universal, equal, and direct suffrage for all male and female 
citizens, twenty years old or over, at all elections to the legislative 
assembly and to the various local organs of self-government; the 
secret ballot at elections; the right of every voter to be elected into 
any representative institution; biennial parliaments; salaries to be 
paid to the people's representatives; proportional representation at 
all elections; recall, without exception, of all delegates and elected 
officers, at any time, by the will of the majority of their electors. 

3. Local self-government on a wide scale; home rule for all locali- 
ties where the population is of a special composition and character- 
ised by special conditions of life; abolition of all state-appointed 
local and district offices. 

4. Inviolability of person and dwelling. 

5. Unlimited freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, strikes, 
and unions. 

6. Freedom of movement and occupation. 

7. Abolition of feudal estate; equal rights for all citizens irrespec- 
tive of sex, creed, race, or nationality. 



338 REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 

8. The right of any people to receive instruction in its own tongue, 
this to be secured by creating schools at the expense of the state 
and the local organs of self-government; the right of every citizen 
to use his native language at meetings; introduction of the use of 
the native language on a par -with the state language in all local, public, 
and state institutions; the obligatory state language to be abolished. 

9. The right of self-determination for all nations included in the composition 
of the state. 

9. The right of all nationalities which are now part of the Russian 
state freely to separate and to form independent states. The republic 
of the Russian people should draw to itself other peoples 
or nationalities not through violence, but through voluntary and 
mutual agreement to build a common state. The common aims and 
brotherly union of the workers of all countries are incompatible 
with either direct or indirect violence practiced upon other nation- 
alities. 

10. The right of any person to sue any official in the regular way 
before a jury. 

11. Election of judges by the people. 

11. Election by the people of judges and other officers, in civil 
service as well as in the army 9 and recall of any of them 9 at any 
time, by the will of the majority of their electors. 

12. Replacement of the standing army by a general arming of the people. 

12. Replacement of the police and the standing army by a general 
arming of the people; workers and employees to receive their regular 
wages from the capitalists for the time given to public service in 
the people 9 s militia. 

13. Separation of church and state, and of school and church; 
the school to be absolutely secular. 

14. Free and compulsory general and professional education for all children 
of both sexes up to the age of sixteen; the state to provide poor children 
with food, clothing, and school supplies. 

14. Free and compulsory, general and technical education (famil- 
iarising the student with the theoretical and practical aspects of all 
the most important branches of industry) for all children of 
both sexes up to the age of 16; such education to be closely con* 
nected with socially productive labour of children. 



REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 339 

15. State aid to students in the form of food, clothing, and school 
supplies. 

16. Transfer of all matters pertaining to education into the hands 
of the democratic organs of local self-government; the central gov- 
ernment not to interfere in any way with the arrangement of the 
school curriculum, nor with the selection of the teaching staff; the 
selection of teachers to be made directly by the population itself 
and the population to have the right to remove undesirable teachers. 

As a basic condition for the democratisation of our state economy, 
the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party demands the abolition 
of all indirect taxes and the establishment of a progressive tax on 
incomes and inheritances. 

On the one hand, the great development of capitalism in the bank- 
ing business and in the trustified branches of industry., and on the 
other hand, the economic chaos brought on by the imperialist war 
and the consequent widespread demand for state and public con- 
trol over the production and distribution of the most important prod- 
ucts, impel the party to demand the nationalisation of banks, syndi- 
cates (trusts), etc. 

In order to safeguard the working class against physical and 
moral degeneration, as well as to insure the development of its 
powers to carry on the struggle for freedom, the party demands the 
following: 

1. Eight-hour work-day for all hired labour. 

1. Eight-hour work-day for all hired labour, allowing, in case the 
work is continuous, for not less than an hour 9 s time for eating, 
In all industries dangerous to health the work-day must be shortened 
to from four to six hours. 

2. A law providing a weekly uninterrupted forty-two-hour respite 
for all hired labour, both male and female, in all the branches of 
national industry. 

3. Complete prohibition of overtime work. 

4. Prohibition of night work (from 9 P.M. to 6 A.M.) in all the branches 
of national economy, with the exception of those in which this is absolutely 
necessary because of technical considerations approved by labour organisations. 

4. Prohibition of night work (from 8 P.M. to 6 A.M.) in all the 
branches of national economy, with the exception of those in which 
this is absolutely necessary because of technical considerations ap- 



340 REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 

proved by labour organisations, provided, however, that no night 
work should exceed four hours. 

5. Prohibition of the employment of children of school age (up to sixteen) 
and restriction of the working day of minors (from 16 to 18) to six hours. 

5. Prohibition of the employment of children of school age (up 
to 16), restriction of the working day of minors (from 16 to 20) 
to four hours, and prohibition of the employment of all minors in 
night work, in industries injurious to health, and in mines. 

6. Prohibition of woman labour in all branches of industry injurious to 
women's health; relief from work for women four weeks before and six weeks 
after childbirth, with regular wages paid during all this period. 

6. Prohibition of woman labour in all branches of industry in- 
jurious to women's health; prohibition of night work for women; 
relief from work for women eight weeks before and eight weeks 
after childbirth, with regular wages paid during all this period, and 
free medical and pharmaceutical aid given. 

7. Nurseries for babies to be established in all shops, factories and other 
enterprises that employ women; recesses to be granted of at least half -hour 
duration, at three-hour intervals, to all nursing mothers. 

7. Nurseries for babies and places where mothers can nurse their 
babies to be established in all shops, factories and other enterprises 
that employ women; recesses to be granted of at least half -hour 
duration, at regular three-hour intervals, to all nursing mothers; 
such mothers to be provided with assistance, and their work-day 
to be reduced to six hours. 

8. Old age state insurance, also insurance against total or partial disa* 
bility; such insurance to be based on a special fund formed from a tax levied 
on the capitalists for this purpose. 

8. Full social insurance: 

A. For workers engaged in every kind of hired labour; 

B. Against all kinds of loss of working power, namely, sickness, 
injury, infirmity, old age, occupational disease, childbirth, widow- 
hood, orphanhood, as well as unemployment, etc.; 

C. Full administration by the insured of all insurance institu- 
tions; 

D. All insurance to be at the expense of the capitalists; 

E. Free medical and pharmaceutical aid, to be managed by self- 



REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 341 

governing Sick Funds whose management to be elected by the 
workers. 

9. Payment of wages in kind to be prohibited; establishment of regular 
weekly pay days when all wages should be paid in money in absolute con- 
formity with all the agreements relating to the hire of workers; wages to be 
paid during working hours. 

10. Deductions by employers from workers* wages, on any ground or for any 
purpose (fines, spoilage, etc.), are to be prohibited. 

11. An adequate number of factory inspectors to be appointed in all branches 
of national industry, and their supervision to be extended to all enterprises 
employing hired labour, including government enterprises (domestic service 
also to be within the sphere of their supervision) ; special women inspectors 
to be appointed in those industries where woman labour is employed; partici- 
pation of representatives, elected by the workers and paid by the state, in 
supervising the enforcement of the factory laws, the fixing of wage scales, in 
accepting or rejecting the finished products and other results of labour. 

9. Establishment of labour inspection, for all forms of enterprises 
employing hired labour, including domestic service, inspectors to 
be elected from and by labour organisations; establishment of an 
institute of women inspectors in undertakings employing woman 
labour. 

12. Organs of local self-government, together with representatives elected 
by the workers, to have control over sanitation in the dwellings assigned to 
the workers by the employers, as well as over the inside arrangements in 
those dwellings and the renting conditions, this for the purpose of shielding 
the workers against the employers' interference with their life and activity as 
private citizens. 

13. Establishment of regularly organised sanitary control over all under- 
takings employing hired labour, the medico-sanitary organisation to be entirely 
independent of the employers; in time of sickness, free medical aid to be 
supplied to the workers at the expense of the employers, with the workers 
retaining their wages. 

14 Employers* infringement upon the laws intended to protect the workers 
to be punished as a crime. 

10. A sanitary code to be published dealing with the improvement 
of hygienic conditions and the preservation of life and health of 
workers in all enterprises employing hired labour; sanitation mat- 
ters to be transferred to an organisation of sanitation inspection 
elected by the workers. 

11. Housing laws to be enacted and housing inspection boards 
composed of members elected from the workers 9 organisations for 
supervising the sanitation of dwellings to be formed. However, only 
abolition of private ownership of land and the erection of cheap 
and hygienic quarters can solve the housing problem. 



342 REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 

12. Establishment of industrial courts in all branches of national 
industry. 

15. Establishment of industrial courts in all branches of national industry, 
the courts to be composed of equal numbers of representatives from workers' 
and employers* organisations. 

16. Imposition upon the organs of local self-governments of the duty of 
establishing employment bureaus (labour exchanges) to deal with the hire 
of local and out-of-town labour in all branches of industry; workers' and 
employers* representatives to participate in their administration. 

13. Labour exchanges to be established for the proper organisa- 
tion of the finding of work for the unemployed. Such labour ex- 
changes must be proletarian class organisations (organised not on a 
parity basis) closely connected with labour unions and other working- 
class organisations, and financed by the communal self-governments. 

Having as its aim the removal of the vestiges of serfdom that fall 
directly and heavily upon the peasants, wishing to encourage the free 
development of the class struggle in the villages, the Russian Social- 
Democratic Labour Party demands: 

1. Removal from the peasants of all feudal estate restrictions relative to 
persons and property. 

2. Removal of all payments and duties connected with the feudal estate dis- 
qualification of the peasantry, and abolition of all debts imposing usurers* 
burdens. 

3. Confiscation of all church lands, monastery lands, appanages, and crown 
lands, as well as of all state lands, and their transfer to the higher organs 
of local self-government combining the urban and the rural districts; lands 
needed for the migration fund, and also forests and waters of importance 
to the state, to be transferred to the democratic state. 

4. Confiscation of privately owned lands, excepting small land-holds, and 
transfer of their management to democratically elected higher organs of local 
self-government. The minimum size of an estate subject to confiscation to be 
determined by the higher organs of local self-government. While supporting 
all revolutionary actions of the peasantry, including confiscation of large 
estates, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party will always and uncon- 
ditionally oppose any intent at hindering the natural development of economic 
progress. While striving, in case of a victorious development of the revolution, 
to transfer all confiscated lands to the democratic institutions of local self- 
government, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party is ready, if circum- 
stances prove unfavourable for such a transfer, to advocate that all privately 
owned estates which are actually managed on a petty-economy basis or which 
are indispensable for rounding out the peasants* holdings, be divided among 
the peasants. 

1. Fights with all its strength for the immediate and complete 
confiscation of all the lands owned by the rich landlords (as well as 
appanages 9 church lands, crown land$ 9 etc., etc.) ; 

2. Stands for the immediate turning over of all lands to the peas- 



REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME 343 

antry organised in Soviets of Peasants 9 Deputies or in some other 
organs of local self-government consisting of representatives elected 
in a thoroughly democratic manner and completely independent of 
landlords and bureaucrats; 

3. Demands the nationalisation of all the lands in the state; the 
whole title to the land is in the hands of the state, nationalisation 
implies that the state turns over the right of managing the land lo 
local democratic institutions; 

4. Upholds the initiative of those peasant committees which in 
many localities throughout Russia are transferring the rick land- 
owners 9 live stock as well as implements to the peasants organised 
into such committees for the purpose of socially regulated utilisation 
of such stock and implements in the cultivation of all lands. 

5. Urges the village proletarians and semi-proletarians to try to 
transform each private estate into a sufficiently large model jarm 9 
to be conducted, at the expense of the community, by the local Soviet 
of agricultural workers under the direction of trained agriculturists, 
with the use of the best technical appliances. 

Under all circumstances, and under whatever conditions the 
democratic agrarian reform may occur, the party will unswervingly 
strive for an independent class organisation of the rural proletariat, 
it will endeavour to disclose to it the irreconcilable conflict between 
its interests and those of the peasant bourgeoisie, to warn it against 
the seduction of the petty-economy system which, as long as com- 
modity production exists, can never eliminate the poverty of the 
masses, and, finally, to reveal to it the need for a complete Socialist 
overturn, as the only way of abolishing all poverty and all exploita- 
tion. 

Striving to achieve its immediate ends, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour 
Party supports all oppositional or revolutionary movements directed against 
the present social and political order in Russia, but at the same time it defi- 
nitely rejects all reformist projects which look toward the widening or 
strengthening of the guardianship of the police and bureaucracy over the 
labouring classes. 

On its own part, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party is firmly 
convinced that a full, consistent, and thorough realisation of the indicated 
political and social changes can only be attained by the overthrow of autocracy 
and by the convocation of a Constituent Assembly freely elected by the entire 
people. 

Written ia May, 1917. 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 

1. The two letters to A. M. Kollontai represent Lenin's first written reaction 
to the telegraphic reports concerning the March Revolution in Russia. The 
letters were written in Zurich on March 16 and 17. p. 19. 

2. Sotsial-Democrat (Social-Democrat) was the name of the central organ 
of the Bolsheviks published in Geneva in the Russian language. In Number 
58, published January 31, 1917, in an article entitled "A Turn in World 
Politics," Lenin wrote the following concerning the possibilities of a separate 
peace between Tsarist Russia and 'Wilhelmist Germany: "The Tsar could 
have said to Wilhelm: If I openly sign a separate peace, to-morrow, my august 
partner, you will be confronted with a government of Miliukov-Guchkov, if 
not actually of Miliukov-Kerensky, for the revolution is maturing, and I 
cannot vouch for the army. Its generals are corresponding with Guchkov, 
and its officers to-day are for the most part the high school graduates of 
yesterday." (See V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. XIX.) p. 19. 

3. The official name of the party of the Russian liberal bourgeoisie formed 
after the 1905 Revolution and widely known as the Constitutional-Democratic 
Party. After the March Revolution, the party played a prominent role in the 
Provisional Government, the Foreign Minister of which was Paul Miliukov, 
the leader of the party. Since the establishment of the Soviet Government, 
the outstanding leaders of the party have lived abroad as emigres, constituting 
an active counter-revolutionary political group. p. 19. 

4. The popular appellation of the Constitutional-Democratic Party derived 
from its initials and pronounced ka and deh in Russian. p. 20. 

5. At that time the Socialist Labour Party was considered to have revolu- 
tionary internationalist leanings. p. 20. 

6. Left Dutch Socialists* grouped around the Left-radical weekly, De 
Tribune, which was founded in 1907 (hence they were also called Tribunists) . 
In 1909, they were expelled from the official Socialist Party of Holland. 
During the war, this group carried on an energetic anti-imperialist agitation 
and collaborated with Lenin and Radek on the journal Vorbote, published in 
Switzerland in the German language. They joined the Communist Inter- 
national when it was organised. Pannekoek, Goiter, Henrietta Roland-Hoist, 
Wynkoop, Ravesteyn and others belonged to this group. p. 20. 

7. The revolutionary period in England between 1640 and 1660, which 
resulted in the overthrow of the monarchy and the execution of Charles I, 
is referred to in history as the "great rebellion," while the substitution of 

347 



348 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

William of Orange for James II as King of England in 1688 by parliamentary 
action has become known as the "glorious revolution." p. 20. 

8. This refers to the Bolshevik Deputies in the Fourth Imperial Duma: 
Petrovsky, Muranov, Badaiev, Samoilov and Shagov who, together with 
Kamenev, the party leader of the Duma fraction, were arrested and sentenced 
to exile to Siberia in 1915 for their anti-war activity. Most of them returned 
to Petrograd immediately after the Revolution in March, 1917. p. 20. 

9. Socialists who supported the war and were opposed to revolutionary 
action, strikes and other manifestations of the class struggle which would 
interfere with the prosecution of the war. p. 21. 

10. Organisation Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party 
was the name assumed by the leading committee of the Mensheviks. It was 
formed in 1912 at the so-called "August" Conference and functioned until 
the election of the Central Committee of the Menshevik group in 1917. p. 21. 

11. See the letter to A. M. Kollontai of March 17, 1917 (p. 21 of this 
book) in which Lenin states that he and Zinoviev are working on theses which 
will characterise the situation and give a general outline of the next tasks 
of the Bolshevik Party. The draft of the theses was found among the papers 
of G. Zinoviev. This draft may be viewed as the first outline of the funda- 
mental principles of Bolshevik tactics in the Revolution of 1917. p. 23. 

12. A political party of the big bourgeoisie formed after the 1905 Revolu- 
tion and calling itself the "Party of October 17," the date of the Tsar's 
manifesto, October 17 (30), 1905, convoking the Imperial Duma and grant- 
ing other civil rights which were withdrawn after the victory of the counter- 
revolution. p. 23. 

13. The Manifesto of the Provisional Executive Committee of the Imperial 
Duma 'To the Citizens" announced the formation of the Provisional Govern- 
ment as well as the following governmental programme: 

1. Complete and immediate amnesty for all political and religious offences, 
including terrorist acts, military revolts, agrarian insurrections, etc. 

2. Freedom of speech, press, assembly, union, strikes, and the extension 
of all political liberties to persons in the military service within the limits 
required by considerations of technical military necessity. 

3. Abolition of all feudal estate and national restrictions. 

4. Immediate preparation for the convocation of a Constituent Assembly 
on the basis of universal, equal, direct and secret suffrage. This Constituent 
Assembly shall determine the form of State and the constitution of the country, 

5. Formation of a people's militia with elected officers subordinated to 
the organs of local self-government and taking the place of the police. 

6. Elections to the local organs of self-government on the basis of universal, 
equal, direct and secret suffrage. 

7. ^The troops who participated in the revolutionary movement are not to 
be disarmed and are to remain in Petrograd. 

8. While maintaining a rigid military discipline in the service, all obstacles 
are to be eliminated preventing soldiers from exercising the public rights 
enfoyed by other citizens. p. 24. 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 349 

14. At the suggestion of the Provisional Executive Committee of the 
Duma, Nicholas II abdicated in favour of his brother, Michael The Duma 
Committee negotiated with the latter concerning his ascension to the throne, 
but was compelled to drop this plan under the pressure of the workers and 
soldiers of Petrograd. Michael Romanov then renounced the throne and 
declared that he would accept the crown only when tendered by the Con- 
stituent Assembly. p. 25. 

15. Zemstvo elective provincial representative assembly. The zemstvos 
joined the liberal bourgeoisie in the movement against the autocracy for a 
constitutional form of government. p. 25. 

16. Formed in 1898 by the unification of the various labour groups rep- 
resenting Marxian Socialism, the party split into two political tendencies at 
the Second Congress of the party in 1903 Bolsheviks and Mensheviks 
constituting the revolutionary and reformist wings respectively of the So- 
cialist movement in Russia. Following the overthrow of Russian tsarism, 
the Mensheviks developed into open counter-revolutionists. The Bolsheviks 
used the name of the party, later changing it to Communist Party. p. 25. 

17. Derived from Narod, Russian for people. Representatives of various 
populist-Socialist tendencies. p. 26. 

18. Literal translation of the Russian oborontsy, those favouring the defence 
of Russia during the imperialist war conducted by the Tsar's and later by 
the Provisional Government jointly with the Allied Powers. p. 26. 

19. The "Letters from Afar" were written by Lenin in Switzerland April 
2-8, 1917. Only the first letter, entitled "The First Stage of the First Revo- 
lution," reached Petrograd; it was published in Numbers 14 and 15 of the 
Pravda. The four other letters were not published in 1917. They appeared 
for the first time in 1924 in Number 2 of the Lenin Collection (Russian). 
The fifth letter ("Problems of Revolutionary Proletarian Organisation of the 
State") was begun on April 8, on the day of Lenin's departure from Switzer- 
land, but was never completed. p. 27. 

20. Manifesto of the Extraordinary Socialist Congress in Basel (Novem- 
ber 24 and 25, 1912) . The Congress was convened as a result of the Balkan 
War which upset the equilibrium of the imperialist states and exposed the 
danger of a world war. Only one question was on the agenda of the Con- 
gress the question of war. Revolutionary resolutions were passed. The 
manifesto known as the Basel Manifesto was unanimously adopted, con- 
firming the resolutions of the Stuttgart and Copenhagen Congresses on the 
war. The Socialist parties of all countries obligated themselves to resist 
the outbreak of a war with every means at their disposal, and, in case it 
should break out, they were to oppose it with all their might. When, nearly 
two years later, the imperialist war, foreseen by the Basel Congress, actually 
broke out, the leaders of the Second International forgot these resolutions 
and the official Social-Democratic parties, with the exception of the Russian, 



350 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

Italian, Bulgarian and Serbian and revolutionary minorities in Socialist 
parties of other countries, supported the war and their respective bour- 
geoisies. p. 30. 

21. Reference is made to the Revolution of 1905 with its traditions of the 
general strike in October and the Moscow uprising in December which 
Lenin particularly considered of great importance on account of the ex- 
perience it gave the Russian workers in revolutionary struggle and the lessons 
derived from the defeat suffered at the time. p. 30. 

22. Certain political circles in Petrograd prepared the abdication of 
Nicholas II and the regency of Michael in the months of January and Feb- 
ruary, 1917. The murder of the Tsar's almighty favourite, Grigory Rasputin, 
by Purishkevich, the well-known leader of the "Black Hundred," and Prince 
Yusupov, a relative of the Tsar's family (the former Grand Duke Dimitri 
Pavlovich also participated in the murder) in December, 1916, did not lead 
to the expected "rejuvenation** of the highest state power and the elimina- 
tion of the influence of the circles dangerous to the anglophile war party. 
Hence the plan to eliminate Nicholas II by means of a Palace revolution 
in order to place his heir, Alexei, who was a minor, on the throne under 
the regency of Michael Romanov. 

Several Deputies of the Duma belonging to the Progressive Bloc (which 
had arisen during the war and consisted of the parties of the Cadets, the 
Progressives, the Octobrists and a part of the Rights), several generals and 
other persons (as, for example, Tereshchenko, later Finance Minister and 
then Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Provisional Government), seemed 
to have participated in the conspiracy. Prince G. E. Lvov was to become 
Prime Minister. The English Ambassador, Sir Buchanan, was well informed 
of these plans, and possibly also other Entente ambassadors (as, for example, 
the French Ambassador Paleologue). To all appearances, the first Pro- 
visional Government, formed after the March Revolution, was nothing more 
than that "Cabinet of Public Confidence'* which the conspirators planned 
upon the success of their venture. 

These facts were unknown in 1917. Material made available during the 
last few years, however, contains direct indications as to the existence of this 
conspiracy, without revealing any details or its participants. In the first 
volume of his History of the Russian Revolution, Miliukov asserts that the 
March Revolution prevented the conspirators' plan from being carried out. 

At the time that Lenin wrote his first "Letter from Afar" in Switzerland, 
he could not have known of the conspiracy of certain groups of the Russian 
bourgeoisie and the Anglo-French imperialists. On the basis of an analysis 
of the class struggle in Russia, however, and the influence of Anglo-French 
capital, he was able to arrive at correct conclusions. p. 31. 

23. A tendency among the Russian Socialists (Mensheviks) during the 
years of reaction following the Revolution of 1905 to liquidate the under- 
ground form of organisation for the purpose of carrying on only those open 
and legal activities permitted by the prevailing conditions. p. 33. 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 351 

24. The official organ of the Bolsheviks which resumed publication in 
Petrograd after the March Revolution. p. 35. 

25. The Provisional Executive Committee of the Duma was formed during 
the night of March 12, 1917. p. 36. 

26. The members of the Executive Committee were: M. V. Rodzianko, 
A. F. Kerensky, N. S. Chkheidze, V. V. Shulgin, P. N. Miliukov, M. A. 
Karaulov, A. I. Konovalov, I. I. Dmitriukov, V. A. Rzhevsky, S. I. Shidlovsky, 
N. V. Nekrasov, V. N. Lvov and A. A. Bublikov. p. 36. 

27. The State Council was a sort of upper chamber beside the Imperial 
Duma and consisted, in part, of elected representatives of the nobility, the 
clergy, the chambers of commerce, universities, etc.; in part, of members 
appointed by the Tsar. p. 36. 

28. The All-Russian Conference of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour 
Party was held in Prague January, 1912, consisting almost exclusively of 
Bolsheviks, with only two or three supporters of Plekhanov among them. 
This conference completed the formal breach with the Mensheviks, expelled 
the Liqiridators, restored the revolutionary proletarian party by embracing 
all Social-Democratic organisations active in Russia, creating a new (Bol- 
shevik) Central Committee. Hence the Bolsheviks referred to their party 
as the Social-Democratic Party of the Central Committee. p. 38. 

29. People's Socialist Partya political group standing between the Cadets 
and the Socialists-Revolutionists, but without any influence upon the masses. 
It arose from a split in the ranks of the Socialists-Revolutionists in 1906. 
The leaders of the People's Socialists were Peshekhonov, Miakotin, Annensky 
and other literati grouped around the journal Russkoie Bogatstvo (Russian 
Wealth) founded by N. K. Mikhailovsky. p. 38. 

30. See note 10. p. 38. 

31. Social-Democratic Party of the Central Committee, Le. 9 the Bolshevik 
Party; see note 28. p. 39. 

32. Trudoviks Labour Fraction. It was a parliamentary fraction formed 
in 1906 in the First Imperial Duma. The fraction was joined by liberal 
intellectuals, People's Socialists and peasant Deputies of revolutionary in- 
clinations. The Trudovik Fraction was maintained through all four Dumas. 
The isolated Deputies of the Socialists-Revolutionists who were unable to 
organise their own fraction in the Third and Fourth Dumas also joined 
the Trudoviks and completely merged with them (Kerensky was the leader 
of the Trudoviks in the Fourth Duma). The Trudoviks' position on the 
war was essentially social-patriotic and in part even openly chauvinist p. 40. 

33. Nasha Zaria (Our Daim) a journal published in Petrograd by the 
Menshevik Liquidators from 1910 to 1914. During the war, it was continued 
as Nashe Dido and later Dielop. 40. 



352 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

34. The formation of the Provisional Government and the formulation of 
its programme followed an agreement between the Executive Committee of 
the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies and the Provisional 
Executive Committee of the Duma on March 14. The Petrograd Soviet left 
the formation of the Provisional Government to the Executive Committee of 
the Duma and insisted on the recognition of a definite programme, the 
most important points of which to them were forbidding the removal of 
the revolutionary troops from Petrograd, and the convocation of the Con- 
stituent Assembly. p. 40. 

35. On March 18, the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet issued 
a proclamation to the people calling upon them to support the Provisional 
Government. It said, among other things: 

The new state power formed from the socially moderate strata of society 
has announced all the reforms to-day which it obligates itself to carry through 
during the struggle with the old regime and partly after the completion of this 
struggle. Some of these reforms must be greeted by the widest democratic 
circles: political amnesty, the obligation to prepare for the convocation of 
the Constituent Assembly, the realisation of civil liberties and the abolition 
of national restrictions. . . . The complete victory of the Russian people over 
the old regime is approaching; but great efforts, solidarity, firmness are 
needed for the achievement of this victory. Division and anarchy must not 
be allowed. . . . The danger of a military movement against the revolution 
has not yet been overcome. To obviate this danger it is of the utmost impor- 
tance that officers and soldiers collaborate wholeheartedly. p. 41. 

36. Neue Zuricher Zeitunga. bourgeois daily newspaper founded in 1780, 
published in Zurich. p. 41. 

37. Nationd-Zeitunga. Berlin liberal bourgeois newspaper founded in 
1848. p. 41. 

38. The so-called "Contact Commission" of the Petrograd Soviet was es- 
tablished to maintain relations with the Provisional Government and to 
control it; it consisted of Skobelev, Steklov, Sukhanov, Chkheidze and the 
officer Filippovsky (a Socialist-Revolutionist). The "Contact Commission" 
proved to be a stillborn child, attempting from time to time to "convince" 
the Provisional Government. In later articles, after he had received more 
exact information, Lenin treated the "Contact Commission" ironically as a 
model of class-collaborationist policy. p. 41. 

39. Frankfurter Zeitung an important German bourgeois paper, published 
since 1856 in Frankfurt a.M. p. 45. 

40. The Bolshevik manifesto "To All Citizens of Russia,*' which was signed 
by the Central Committee and the Petrograd Committee of the party, was 
printed in Petrograd and distributed as a leaflet on March 11, 1917, while 
street fighting was still going on. The manifesto declared the goal of the 
revolution to be the creation of a democratic republic. It demanded of the 
future Provisional Government: Legislative guarantees of all rights and liber- 
ties of the people; confiscatipn of the monastery, feudal, crown and state land 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 353 

and their transfer to the people; the introduction of the 8-hour work-day, and 
the convocation of the Constituent Assembly. 

It is the immediate . . . task of the Provisional Revolutionary Government 
the manifesto stated to establish relations with the proletariat of the bel- 
ligerent countries for the purpose of leading a struggle of the peoples of all 
the countries against their oppressors and exploiters, against royal govern- 
ments and capitalist cliques and for the purpose of terminating the bloody 
war carnage imposed upon the enslaved peoples against their will. 

At the same time, the manifesto demanded the election of delegates to the 
Workers' and Soldiers' Soviet and emphasised the necessity of an alliance 
between the Russian and West-European proletariat, (The complete text 
of the Manifesto will be found among the appendices of Book II.) p. 45. 

41. Vossische Zeitung an influential and well-informed German paper 
published since 1704 and connected with academic circles. p. 45. 

42. Lietopis (Annals) a Marxist journal of internationalist orientation 
edited by Maxim Gorki and published in Petrograd from December, 1915, 
to the end of 1917. N. Sukhanov, V. Bazarov, A. Bogdanov and others col- 
laborated on the journal. p. 57. 

43. V. I. Lenin: Imperialism as the Final Stage of Capitalism, first pub- 
lished in Petrograd in the summer of 1917. Available in English translation 
in pamphlet form. It will be published in a revised translation in Vol. XIX 
of Lenin's Collected Works. The introduction to this pamphlet will be found 
on p. 320 of this book. p. 57. 

44. The telegram of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miliukov, of March 
18, 1917, which was sent to the representatives of Russia abroad, was re- 
produced by the Riech (Speech), the organ of the Cadets, as follows: 
**. . . The upheaval has been favourably received in all parts of Russia, for 
the fallen regime was hated and despised by every one. There were no 
defenders of the old regime and the establishment of the new order as well 
as the formation of the new government was effected with the unanimous 
consent of all classes of the population, the army and the front." The tele- 
gram expresses the conviction that the new government as well as all of 
Russia will act with complete unanimity and in full accord with their glo- 
rious allies. p. 58. 

45. The Agrarian Programme of the 104the draft of a law which was 
introduced into the Second Imperial Duma and supported by 104 Deputies 
of the Trudovik Fraction (see note 32), mostly peasants. The draft de- 
manded the nationalisation of the land. p. 62. 

46. Die Neue Zeitihe theoretical journal of the German Social-Democ- 
racy founded in 1883 and published under the editorship of Karl Kautsky until 
the war when Heinrich Cunow became editor. The journal was transformed 
into a technical journal in 1923. During the first three decades of its 
existence it was the most influential Marxist publication in the international 
Socialist movement, publishing many shorter writings of Marx and Engels 
and articles of leading Marxist writers from various countries. p. 63. 



354 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

47. This article was written about the same time as the fourth "Letter 
from Afar,'* but probably after this letter was finished. The article was 
obviously to serve as a proclamation of the Central Committee of the Bol- 
sheviks to the international proletariat, but was never completed. p. 64. 

48. The first Provisional Government, which was formed as a result of an 
agreement between the Executive Committee of the Imperial Duma and the 
Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Depu- 
ties, was composed of the following: Prime Minister and Minister of the 
Interior, Prince G. E. Lvov; Minister of Foreign Affairs, P. N. Miliukov; 
Minister of Justice, A. F. Kerensky; Minister of Communications, N. V. 
Nekrasov; Minister of Trade and Industry, A. I. Konovalov; Minister of 
Education, A. A. Manuilov; Minister of War and Temporary Minister of 
the Navy, A. L Guchkov; Minister of Agriculture, A. I. Shingarev; Minister 
of Finance, M. I. Tereshchenko; State Comptroller, I. V. Godnev; Pro- 
curator of the Holy Synod, V. N. Lvov; Minister of Finland, F. I. Rodichev. 
p. 65. 

49. The letter to Hanecki was sent from Zurich to Stockholm where 
Hanecki was living at the time. The Kuba mentioned in the letter is 
Hanecki himself. p. 69. 

50. Die Glocke (The Bell) a Social-Democratic weekly published by 
Parvus, representing an extreme Right, social-chauvinist standpoint. Parvus, 
a former radical Socialist during the Revolution of 1905 and active in the 
Russian revolutionary movement, entered the service of German imperialism 
after the outbreak of the war. The journal was published at Berlin, and 
existed from 1915 to 1925. p. 69. 

51. A Socialist who took an anti-war attitude during the war, refusing 
to support the government in the prosecution of the war or to favour social 
peace. While the internationalists differed in this regard from the social- 
patriotic Mensheviks, they did not accept the Bolshevik programme of action 
during the war or after the March Revolution. In the summer of 1917, the 
true revolutionary internationalist elements joined the Bolsheviks. This fusion 
is discussed by Lenin in this book (p. 131, Book II of this volume). p. 69. 

52. For a characterisation of the attitude and role of Martov in the Russian 
Socialist movement see Biographical Notes in Book EL p. 69. 

53. For a characterisation of the attitude and r61e of Natanson in the 
Russian Socialist movement see Biographical Notes in Book II. p. 69. 

54. This refers to the pamphlet of G. Zinoviev and N. Lenin: Socialism 
and the War, Geneva, 1915. p. 71. 

55. The Communist (Russian) was published in 1915 by P. and N. Kievsky 
(G. Piatakov and Eugenie Bosh). Lenin, Zinoviev and Bukharin were con- 
tributors to the journal. Only the double number 1-2 appeared. p. 71. 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 355 

56. Sbornik Sotsiddemocrata (Social-Democratic Collection} appeared in 
Switzerland in 1916 under Lenin's close guidance. Only two numbers were 
published. p. 71. 

57. On March 23, 1917, while Lenin was still in Switzerland, L. B. Kamenev, 
together with the Bolshevik Duma Deputies, returned to Petrograd from 
exile (see note 8). Here he assumed the leadership of the party work and 
the editorship of the Pravda. It soon appeared, however, that he did not 
agree with Lenin's standpoint on essential questions. When Lenin published 
his famous "April Theses/* Kamenev turned against Lenin the following 
day in the Pravda in an article entitled "Our Differences." This article, 
together with another published under the title "Without Secret Diplomacy, 59 
which testify to Kamenev's vacillations at that time, are to be found among 
the appendices in Book II. p. 73. 

58. This article was written by Lenin on March 30, 1917, in Switzerland. 
He sent it in the form of a letter to the editors of the Avanti (see note 
63) and the Zurich Volksrecht (see note 62). A copy of the article was 
sent by Lenin to his comrades in Stockholm. This copy was found among 
the papers of Shliapnikov. p. 74. 

59. Corriere deUa Sera (Evening Courier) an Italian evening paper with 
a large circulation, published in Milan since 1876. p. 74. 

60. L'Humanite (Humanity) formerly the central organ of the French 
Socialist Party, having been founded by Jean Jaures in 1904 and edited by 
him till his death in 1914. During the war it was social-patriotic under the 
editorship of Pierre RenaudeL It was later edited by Jean Longuet when 
it was a reformist and pacifist organ. Since the split in the French Socialist 
Party in 1920, it has been the central organ of the Communist Party oi 
France and is edited by Marcel Cachin, the French Communist Deputy and 
former co-worker of Jaures. p. 76. 

61. Petit Parisien (Little Parisian) a conservative Paris paper founded in 
1876 and circulated mostly among the petty bourgeoisie. p. 76. 

62. Volksrecht (People's Right) Social-Democratic paper published in 
Zurich and representing an internationalist standpoint during the war. p. 76. 

63. Avanti (Forward) the central organ of the Italian Socialist Party 
published in Milan. Represented the internationalist standpoint during the 
war and was edited by Giacinto Serrati. p. 76. 

64. In Numbers 77 and 78 of March 31 and April 2, 1917, the Zurich 
Volksrecht published a report of one of Lenin's lectures under the title: 
"Lenin on the Russian Revolution." The editors of the Volksrecht added the 
following note: 

Comrade Lenin who, as is well known, represents the most extreme Left 
tendency in the Russian Social-Democracy, recently delivered a lecture in 
Zurich on the tasks of the Social-Democracy in the Russian Revolution. His 



356 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

views surely correspond to the tactics followed at present by a part of the 
Russian Socialists and therefore constitute a valuable contribution to the 
understanding of present events in Russia. We can only publish a short 
extract from the two-and-a-half-hour lecture. 

The style and language of the report published in the Volksrecht, particu- 
larly the pregnancy of the basic thought and the clear, succinct and sharp 
formulation suggest that the report was written by Lenin himself or rep- 
resents an extract of a larger report of his lecture which Lenin wrote. p. 77. 

65. See note 7. p. 77. 

66. See note 7. p. 77. 

67. Reference is made here to the Germanic influence at the Russian 
Court. The Tsarina was of German descent and high Russian military 
officials were in the employ of the German Government. The Allies sup- 
ported the conservative and liberal bourgeoisie bent upon continuing the war 
to a victorious conclusion. p. 77. 

68. The National Convention assembled September 21, 1792, and assumed 
power following the victory of the first stage of the French Revolution 
and the deposition and imprisonment of the king. It was the Convention 
that tried King Louis XVI and condemned him to death. In the Convention 
a struggle took place between the Left elements represented by the Moun- 
tain (so-called because the delegates were seated on the top benches, among 
whom were the Jacobin leaders, Robespierre and Danton, spokesmen of the 
revolutionarily inclined petty-bourgeois intelligentsia, and Marat, the fearless 
champion of the lower classes the workers and peasants), and the Gironde 
(the provincial delegates who came from the Gironde Department Bor- 
deaux) ; the Girondists opposed the extension of the Revolution and as 
the spokesmen of the emerging bourgeoisie represented the developing counter- 
revolution. The fall of Robespierre on July 27, 1794 (the 9th Thermidor), 
marked the triumph of the open counter-revolution. The Convention lasted 
until October 26, 1795, when the Directory assumed control of France with 
the aid of Napoleon. p. 78. 

69. The full text of the manifesto adopted on March 11 and published 
by the Bolshevik Central Committee is reprinted among the appendices in 
Book II. p. 79. 

70. The first cabinet of Prince Lvov, formed on March 14, 1917, as a 
result of an agreement with the Soviet of "Workers and Soldiers* Deputies, 
Lenin calls the "Second Provisional Government" in contradistinction to the 
Provisional Executive Committee of the Duma, which was formed on March 
12 and of which Chkheidze was also a member. Living abroad, Lenin was 
naturally prevented from learning all the details of events occurring in 
Russia. He therefore considered the Provisional Committee of the Duma 
to a certain extent as the first Provisional Government. p. 80. 

71. See Karl Marx, The Civil War in France. p. 80. 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 357 

72. The "Farewell Letter to the Swiss Workers" was written by Lenin and 
on his motion was adopted at a meeting of the departing Bolshevik emi- 
grants held April 8, 1917. The letter was intended for publication in the 
Swiss Socialist press. Plekhanov published this "Farewell Letter" at that 
time in his newspaper Yedinstvo (Unity) as a proof of the dangerousness 
of Lenin's agitation. The text published in 1921 in Number 2 of the Rus- 
sian journal Proletarskaia Revolutsia (The Proletarian Revolution) deviates 
somewhat from the text of the Lenin manuscript; the 1921 text undoubtedly 
contains some editorial changes made at the suggestion of those present 
at the meeting. p. 82. 

73. The International Socialist Conference in Zimmerwald (Switzerland) 
held September 5-8, 1915, was convened by the Socialist Party of Italy for 
the purpose of discussing the attitude toward the war. At the Conference 
were represented partly the official parties as a whole (Italy, Russia, Ru- 
mania, etc.), partly the opposition and revolutionary minorities which had 
remained more or less faithful to the standpoint of internationalism. Alto- 
gether about 30 delegates appeared. The Russian representatives were: for 
the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks Lenin and Zinoviev; for the Or- 
ganisation Committee of the Mensheviks Axelrod, Martov and Martinov; for 
the Socialists-Revolutionists Natanson and Chernov; for the Lettish Social- 
Democracy Bersin ; Trotsky represented the editorial staff of the Nashe Slow 
(see note 83) ; in addition, there was also a representative of the Bund. 
From Germany, the following participated: for the Haase-Ledebour Group 
(Independents) Georg Ledebour, Adolf Hoffmann and Josef Herzfeld; the 
"Internationale** (Spartacus) Group was represented by Ernst Meyer and 
Bertha Thalheimer; in addition, Julian Borchardt was present as the rep- 
resentative of the International Socialists of Germany. Of the Polish Social- 
Democracy Radek (National Committee) and Warski (Executive Committee) 
participated, and Lapinski of the Left Polish Socialist Party. Italy sent 
several delegates. From France, Bourderon and Merrheim represented the 
minorities of the party and the trade unions; from Holland, Henrietta Roland- 
Hoist (De Internationale Group) ; from Scandinavia, Hoglund and Ture 
Neman who officially represented the Swedish-Norwegian Youth League; 
the Rumanian Pariy was represented by Rakovsky; the Bulgarian by Kolarov. 
The Rumanian and Bulgarian delegation also represented the Inter-Balkan 
Socialist Federation. From Switzerland there was a personal representation, 
consisting of Robert Grimm, Charles Naine and Fritz Platten. The Inde- 
pendent Labour Party of England promised to participate, but was pre- 
vented from attending by the British Government, which refused the dele- 
gates passports. The American Socialist Party had no delegates at the 
Conference, but the Manifesto issued by the Conference was endorsed by a 
referendum of its membership soon after its publication. The majority 
of the Conference assumed a centrist position. Animated differences of opin- 
ion developed during the discussion of the manifesto which was to be issued. 
The Left Wing of the Conference, under Lenin's leadership, demanded a 
sharper formulation. The statement made by the Left Wing not only at- 
tacked the outright social-patriots in unmistakable terms, but also the "oppo- 



358 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

sition-mannered centre around Kautsky." It raised the slogan of a revo- 
lutionary struggle against the World War and the transformation of the 
imperialist war into a civil war: "Civil War, not civil peace that is the 
slogan." This statement was rejected by the majority of the Conference; 
but it was voted for by the representatives of the Bolsheviks, the Lettish 
Party, the Polish National Committee, the Swedish-Norwegian Youth League, 
a German and a Swiss delegate. The Conference finally adopted unani- 
mously the so-called Zimmerwald Manifesto. The Left Wing issued a state- 
ment, saying that while it wished to have more stress laid upon certain 
facts and the means of struggle more clearly indicated, still, since it was a 
question of a call to battle, it voted for the Manifesto in order to permit 
unity of action. A provisional centre was formed at the Conference, the 
International Socialist Commission to be located at Berne (after the out- 
break of the Russian Revolution, it was removed to Stockholm), consisting 
of Morgari (Italy), Charles Naine, Robert Grimm (Switzerland) and An- 
gelica Balabanov (Secretary). The most important result of the Confer- 
ence was the organisation of the "Zimmerwald Left,** which provided itself 
with a programme and created an international centre. (The declaration 
of principles of the Zimmerwald Left, which was made at the Conference 
as well as the theses for the Kienthal Conference, are reproduced in the 
appendices in Book II.) The second conference of the Zimmerwaldians took 
place at Kienthal (Switzerland) April 24-30, 1916. About 40 delegates from 
different countries were present: Germany 7 delegates; France 4, England 1, 
Italy 8, Russia 8, Poland 5, Serbia 1, Portugal 1, Switzerland 5, and 1 dele- 
gate from the International Socialist Youth Secretariat. From Germany 
there were Adolf Hoffmann and Hermann Fleissner for the Ledebour Group, 
for the Spartacus Group Ernst Meyer and Bertha Thalheimer again; Paul 
Frolich represented the Bremen Left-radical group. From Russia practically 
the same delegates were present as at the first Conference. The Letts 
transferred their mandate to Lenin. The third and last Zimmerwald Con- 
ference took place at Stockholm on September 5, 1917 (see note 177) . The 
Zimmerwald Union existed until the organisation of the Communist In- 
ternational in 1919 when it was dissolved. p. 82. 

74. On December 21, 1915, eighteen Deputies of the Minority Group of 
the Social-Democratic Reichstag Fraction, who were grouped around Hugo 
Haase and Georg Ledebour, finally decided to follow Liebknecht's example, 
and voted against the war credits in an open session of the Reichstag. The 
vote served to aggravate the relationship between the majority and the 
minority of the Fraction, but did not lead to a formal split. On March 24, 
1916, came the decisive conflict. When one of the minority speakers attacked 
the official policy of the Social-Democratic Fraction, the eighteen deputies 
of the Haase-Ledebour Group were expelled from the Fraction. These in 
turn organised a separate fraction under the name of the Social-Democratic 
Arbeitsgemeinschaft which formed the basis for the organisation of the In- 
dependent Social-Democratic Party. p. 82. 

75. Freie Jugend (Free Youth) internationalist semi-monthly organ of 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 359 

the Social-Democratic Youth Organisation of Switzerland. Founded in 1906, 
p. 83. 

76. The Stolypin agrarian reform aimed at creating an economically strong 
stratum of peasant proprietors as a prop of the tsarist government in the 
village. The peasants were permitted to have their share of land recognised 
as their private property without the consent of the village commune (Mir) 9 
and within certain limits, to mortgage and dispose of it. The separation of 
the peasants from the village commune and their settling on separate 
farms of their own was pushed in every possible way. The proprietors sepa- 
rating from the commune received the support of the Peasant Bank by means 
of credits, etc. Tsarism, however, was not able to complete this reform 
before the outbreak of the Revolution of 1917. Nevertheless, it contributed 
to the further and stronger class differentiation of the village. p. 86. 

77. Members of the Fabian Society, a reformist-Socialist society founded 
at London in 1884 by Sidney Webb, George Bernard Shaw and others. It 
was named after the Roman General Fabius Maximus, called Cunctator 
(the Delayer), whose tactics in defeating Hannibal in the Second Punic War 
(3rd Century B.C.) consisted in avoiding direct engagements with the enemy. 
The Fabian Society was formed as a counteracting influence to the "Marxist" 
Social-Democratic Federation. The official aims of the society are: Revision 
of the English Constitution in a democratic spirit, and propaganda for a 
Socialist method of production. The Fabian Society is not a party in the 
proper sense of the word, but rather a club for study purposes, a propaganda 
society. The Fabians reject the theories of Marx, deny the class struggle as- 
the driving force of social development and do not recognise the inevitability 
of the social revolution. The Society is a part of the Labour Party and the 
Second International. p. 87. 

78. Members of the British Labour Party; founded in 1906. The Labour 
Party is composed of trade unions and other labour organisations (co- 
operatives, Socialist clubs) which are affiliated to it, as well as of indi- 
vidual members who belong to any local election unit of the Labour Party. 
The possibility of individual membership in the Labour Party dates only 
from 1918. J. Ramsay MacDonald and Philip Snowden, conservative leaders 
of the Independent Labour Party, and James H. Thomas and other conserva- 
tive trade-unionists are in the leadership of the Labour Party. The Labour 
Party belongs to the Second International where it occupies the Right Wing, 
p. 87. 

79. Spartacus group (Spartacusbund) an illegal organisation founded at 
the beginning of the war by Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, Franz Mehring 
and others, rallying the revolutionary elements in the old German Social- 
Democracy for a struggle against the war and against the Social-Democracy 
which had completely gone over to the bourgeois camp. Franz Mehring and 
Rosa Luxemburg tried to publish a legal journal under the title Die Inter- 
nationale (The International), the first number of which appeared April 15, 
1915, This journal took up a most vigorous struggle not only against the 



360 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

official policy of the Social-Democracy, but also against the centrist Kautsky- 
ism. The journal was, of course, immediately suppressed. The group offi- 
cially named itself after its journal, Gruppe der Internationale (Group of 
the International). A series of leaflets which it issued under the name of 
Spartacus caused the group to he called the Spartacus Group. (Spartacus 
a Thracian leader of gladiators who led an uprising of slaves against Rome, 
73-71 B.C.) When the Independent Social-Democratic Party was organised 
at Gotha in March, 1917, the Spartacus Group joined it for tactical reasons, 
hut stated expressly at the convention that it not only reserved its freedom 
of agitation and criticism but also its independence of organisation and 
action. After the November, 1918, Revolution when the I.S.P., together with 
Ebert and Scheidemann, formed the Government of People's Deputies, the 
Spartacus Group separated from the I.S.P. and constituted itself together 
with several other Left-radical groups, on December 31, 1918, the Com- 
munist Party of Germany. p. 87. 

80. Arbeiterpolitik (Labour Policy) weekly publication of the Left radi- 
cals founded by Johann Knief and Paul Frolich. It appeared legally in 
Bremen from May, 1916, up to the November Revolution. Karl Radek was 
one of its chief contributors, and it was through him that the group estab- 
lished closer connections with the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks (Lenin 
and Zinoviev). p. 87. 

81. Late in the evening of April 16, 1917, Lenin, together with the first 
emigrant group from Switzerland, arrived in Petrograd. The next day, 
April 17, Lenin and Zinoviev made a report concerning their journey through 
Germany before the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet. At the 
same meeting of the Executive Committee Zurabov, a Menshevik-interna- 
tionalist, spoke "On the Condition of the Emigrants in Switzerland.'* The 
following statement concerning Zurabov's talk is preserved in the minutes 
of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet: 

A number of political emigrants have no opportunity of utilising the 
amnesty and of returning home, especially those who resided in Switzerland 
and the countries of southern Europe. The technical difficulties of the return 
trip entirely^ aside, the so-called "check lists" that were set up by the agents 
of the old regime with the co-operation of the representatives of the English 
and French general staffs, allegedly for struggle against military espionage, 
in reality contain the names of many prominent internationalists who represent 
the standpoint of the Zimmerwald-Kienthal Conferences. Zurabov, who was 
also on the list, while still in Copenhagen, informed the Executive Committee 
in the person of Comrade Chkheidze of this by telegraph and upon his 
insistence, the Russian ambassador in Copenhagen informed Foreign Minister 
Miliukov that the Russian emigrants were insisting that the lists be not 
applied to them. Miliukov's reply, which was favourable in reference to 
Zurabov personally, confirmed the instructions to the consuls to guide 
themselves by the check lists in granting permission to return. In his further 
statements, Comrade Zurabov presented the request of the Swiss comrades 
that efforts^ be made to have the Executive Committee exert pressure upon 
the Provisional Government in order that it start negotiations with the 
German Government about letting the political emigrants pass through Germany 
in exchange for interned Germans or prisoners of war. 
Zinoviev reported in the name of the group of emigrants which had trav- 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 361 

elled through Germany. In the above-mentioned minutes, there is the fol- 
lowing record of his speech: 

Zinoviev reports on the difficulties presented by the English and French 
officials. He relates the history of the origin of the plan to travel through 
Germany. Originally it was intended that this occur by means of exchange 
for interned persons, but the red tape involved would have meant a delay 
and retarded the departure by months. With the co-operation of the Swiss 
Socialist Flatten, they succeeded in accelerating the journey by going through 
Germany, whereby the travellers obligated themselves to influence the work- 
ing masses so that in turn the same number of German subjects interned in 
Russia are returned, primarily the Socialist Otto Bauer. At their departure 
a written agreement was made which Comrade Zinoviev promises to hand in as 
soon as it arrives in Petrograd by mail. He proposes a resolution which 
approves of the exchange of political emigrants for interned persons. 

After the discussion in which Lenin (the record of his speech contained 
in the minutes is reproduced in the text; see p. 94 of this book), Tsereteli, 
Bogdanov, Shliapnikov and Zurabov participated, the Executive Committee 
decided that "the delegation is instructed to raise the question of the po- 
litical emigrants before the Government, temporarily to adopt no resolution 
on the passage through Germany, print all the factual material relevant to 
this question in the hvestia, and publish a notice in the next number of the 
Izvestia on the report made by Comrade Lenin on the day of the arrival con- 
cerning the circumstances of the journey through Germany." The documents 
which refer to the journey through Germany will be found among the ap- 
pendices in Book II. p. 91. 

82. Bund (League) abbreviated name of the General Jewish Workers* 
League in Lithuania, Poland and Russia, a Jewish Social-Democratic or- 
ganisation. The Bund was founded in 1897, and, with the organisation of 
the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, the following year, joined it 
as an autonomous body. When the second congress of the R.S.-D.L.P. (1903) 
expressed its adherence to the principle of rigid centralism, the Bund left 
the party. They were reunited in 1906 at the so-called unity convention at 
Stockholm. The Bund was close to the Mensheviks. It participated in the 
Zimmerwald Conference where it belonged to the Right Wing. During the 
war, most of the Bundists were either social-pacifists or outright social- 
patriots. In the process of the Civil War, the Bund in Soviet Russia became 
more and more revolutionary under the pressure of the proletarian masses. 
In 1921, it merged with the Communist Party of Russia. The Bund to-day 
exists as an independent organisation only in Poland, where it occupies 
essentially a centrist position. p. 91. 

83. Nashe Slovo (Our Word) a, daily paper published by Trotsky in 
Paris during the war. The following collaborated on the paper: Manuilsky, 
Antonov-Ovseienko, Lozovsky, Lunacharsky, Martov. The paper appeared 
from January 29, 1915 to September 15, 1916 (213 issues) when it was sup- 
pressed by the French Government. p. 91. 

84. Riech (Speech) an important newspaper which appeared in Petersburg 
from 1906 to 1917 under the editorship of Paul Miliukov. Central organ 
of the Cadet Party. p. 93= 



362 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

85. The reference here is to the manifesto "To All the Peoples of the 
"World" which the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies issued 
on March 27, 1917. The manifesto stated, among other things: 

... In appealing to all the peoples exposed to destruction and ruin by the 
terrible war, we declare that the time has come to begin a resolute struggle 
with the predatory aspirations of the governments of all countries, the time 
has come for the peoples to take the matter of war and peace into their own 
hands. With the consciousness of its revolutionary power, Russian democracy 
declares that it will work against the policy of conquest of its ruling classes 
with every means, and calls upon the peoples of Europe to take common 
decisive actions in favour of peace. ... We appeal to our brothers, the 
proletarians of the Austro-German coalition and primarily to the German 
proletariat. They made you believe from the first days of the war that when 
you took up arms against absolutist Russia, you were thereby defending 
European culture against Asiatic despotism. Many of you saw in that a 
justification for supporting the war. To-day this justification is lacking: 
Democratic Russia cannot be a threat to freedom and civilisation. . . . We 
shall defend our own freedom against all reactionary attempts, whether they 
come from within or without. The Russian Revolution will not retreat before 
the bayonets of the conquerors and it will not allow itself to be throttled by 
an outside military power. But we call upon you: Shake off the yoke of your 
autocratic order, just as the Russian people has shaken off the tsarist autoc- 
racy; refuse to serve as a tool of conquest and violence in the hands of 
kings, landowners and bankers and with consolidated, united forces we shall 
put an end to the terrible carnage which is outraging mankind and darkening 
the great days of the birth of Russian freedom. . . . p. 93. 

86. The conference of the Bolshevik Fraction of the Ail-Russian Confer- 
ence of Soviets took place on April 17, 1917, in the gallery of the Tauride 
Palace. Lenin repeated his speech the same day to a combined meeting 
of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. The present text is not a stenographic 
report, but merely notes of one of the auditors. It is therefore inexact. 
There are several gaps in the text which are indicated by dots; but in spite 
of several ambiguous passages, Lenin's train of thought is perfectly clear. 
p. 95. 

87. Sotsial'Democrat (Social-Democrat) this refers to the Moscow party 
organ of the Bolsheviks which made its appearance there in March, 1917. 
When the central organ of the party, the Pravda, was moved to Moscow in 
March, 1918, the Social-Democrat ceased publication. p. 96. 

88. Rabochaia Gazeta (Workers 9 Gazette') a Menshevik daily paper which 
appeared in 1917 in Petrograd; the organ of the Organisation Committee of 
the R.S.-D.L.P. (see note 10) .p. 103. 

89. Novoie Vremia (New Times') a prominent reactionary daily paper 
-which was published in Petersburg from 1876 to 1917. Under tsarism, it 
was very influential, having been read chiefly by the bureaucratic circles. 
p. 104. 

90. Jzvestia (News) the organ of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies, edited more in the spirit of internationalism in March, 
1917, At the request of the Executive Committee, however, the composition 
of the editorial staff was changed and the paper entered upon an open 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 363 

social-patriotic course. Since the second Soviet Congress on November 7, 
1917, the Izvestia has become the official organ of the Soviet Government. 
The paper has been published in Moscow since March, 1918. p. 104. 

91. Russkaia Volia (The Russian Will) a. daily paper founded in 1916 
by Protopopov, member of the Imperial Duma, with the help of the large 
banks. Protopopov, with the co-operation of the notorious Rasputin, was 
soon after appointed Minister of the Interior by the Tsar. The Russkaia 
Volia was the reactionary organ of the big bourgeoisie. p. 104. 

92. Yedinstvo (Unity) a newspaper published by George Plekhanov in 
Petrograd in 1917. It followed an extreme social-chauvinist course, preach- 
ing victory over Germany and the support of the Provisional Government. 
The Yedinstvo carried on a violent agitation against the Bolsheviks and sup- 
ported the coalition with the Cadets. Later the Yedinstvo group, together 
with the other bourgeois parties, participated in the counter-revolutionary 
organisations and exerted its influence in favour of Denikin and Kolchak. 
p. 109. 

93. On August 4, 1914, the Reichstag Fraction of the Social-Democratic 
Party voted for the war credits. p. 110. 

94. The All-Russian Conference of Soviets was convened by the Execu- 
tive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet. It met on April 11 in Petrograd 
and was under the decided influence of the Mensheviks. The Conference 
voted for the platform of the so-called "revolutionary defencism" and the 
support of the Provisional Government on the condition that the latter carry 
out the "Agreement of March 15" (. e. 9 the agreement between the Provisional 
Executive Committee of the Imperial Duma and the Executive Committee 
of the Soviet concerning the formation of the government and its programme, 
see notes 13 and 34) and that the government be controlled by the Soviet. 
After a speech by Tsereteli, a resolution was adopted by 325 against 57 votes, 
with 20 abstaining, in which it was stated, among other things: ". . . The 
Conference of the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies calls upon 
Russian democracy to mobilise all the vital forces of the country in all 
spheres of national life in order to reinforce the front and, the rear'* (of 
the army in the field) . p. 111. 

95. "His Majesty's Opposition" this refers to the Cadet Party. On the 
occasion of a visit of a Duma Delegation to England, Miliukov, the leader 
of the Cadets, declared in London that his party was not in opposition to 
His Majesty but the "Opposition of His Majesty." p. 123. 

96. The formula of Parvus and Trotsky in 1905 for the organisation of 
revolutionary power. This formula constitutes the basic principle of the 
so-called "Theory of the Permanent Revolution," which Lenin subjected to a 
very severe criticism. p. 123. 

97. See George Plekhanov: Anarchism and Socialism. This pamphlet, 
written originally in German, was published in Berlin in 1894. p. 125. 



364 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

98. Kamenev's article "Our Differences/' against which Lenin here polemises, 
will be found among the appendices in Book II. p. 125. 

99. Lenin published a collection of his articles in 1908 under the pseudonym 
of VI. Hyin. See VL Ilyin: Twelve Years, Collected Essays, Vol. I, Two 
Tendencies in Russian Marxism and the Russian Social-Democracy (Russian), 
Petersburg, 1908. p. 127. 

100. See Engels' letters to Bebel of March 18-28, 1875; first published by 
Bebel in 1910 in his book Aus Meinem Leben, Volume I. pp. 318-324. 

101. See Karl Marx: The Civil War in France.?. 140. 

102. Minoritaires the adherents of the minority in the French Socialist 
Party which represented a social-pacifist standpoint during the war. p. 147. 

103. Independent Labour Party founded by Keir Hardie, it is a Socialist 
organisation of centrist tendency, affiliated with the British Labour Party as 
an autonomous organisation. During the war the I.L.P. maintained a pacifist 
policy. It left the Second International in 1920 and joined the Vienna So- 
cialist International, the so-called Second and a Half International. To- 
gether with the latter, the I.L.P. returned to the Second International in 
1923. In 1924, MacDonald, the leader of the I.L.P., headed the "Labour 
Government" in England for several months. p. 147. 

104. British Socialist Party before the war, it occupied a Marxist posi- 
tion with a strong sectarian colouring. Its influence upon the masses was 
therefore very slight and it remained organisationally weak. At the Be- 
ginning of the war, several of the old leaders deserted to the social-patriots, 
but were expelled from the party in 1915. The B.S.P. joined the Zimmer- 
wald Union. In 1920 the B.S.P., together with several other revolutionary 
political labour groups, organised the Communist Party of England. p. 147. 

105. The American Socialist Party, far from being a revolutionary Marx- 
ist party, was permeated by reformism even before the World War and the 
Russian Revolution. Its opposition to the war, the ratification of the Zimmer- 
wald Manifesto, as well as its various anti-war proclamations during this 
period were essentially pacifist rather than revolutionary in nature. The 
party, however, had large numbers of proletarian revolutionary elements, 
and, influenced by the March Revolution and the crystallisation of the revo- 
lutionary internationalist groups in Europe, it adopted a militant anti-war 
manifesto at its convention in St. Louis in April, 1917, immediately upon 
America's entrance into the war. The call to revolutionary action embodied 
in this manifesto, however, was soon emasculated by the party leadership, 
and the November Revolution stimulated the formation of Left groups within 
the party. The final crystallisation of an organised Left Wing led to a 
split and the formation of the Communist Party in 1919. Since then, with 
the loss of its proletarian base and mass contact, the Socialist Party has de- 
veloped into an open petty-bourgeois reformist party, eliminating the prin- 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 365 

ciple of class struggle from its platform and aspiring to become the "third" 
party of American capitalism. p. 149. 

106. The "Narrow-Minded'* this was what the Social-Democratic Laboui 
Party of Bulgaria, which occupied a revolutionary position already before 
the war, called itself in contradistinction to the reformists, the so-called 
"Broad-Minded." It was founded by Blagoev, who as a student in Russia 
during the eighties organised Socialist groups there. During the war, the 
"Narrow-Minded" assumed a decidedly internationalist standpoint. With 
the formation of the Third International, under the leadership of Kolarov 
and others, they were among the first to join it and organised the Com- 
munist Party of Bulgaria. p. 149. 

107. See the "Farewell Letter to the Swiss Workers" (p. 82), where 
Lenin reports in more detail concerning the co-operation of the Bolsheviks 
with this Left group of Swiss Socialists. p. 150. 

108. The Volksstimme (People's Voice) supported the social-patriotic policy 
of the leadership of the German Social-Democratic Party during the war. 
p. 151. 

109. Confederation Generale du Travail (General Confederation of Labour) 
the general organisation of the French trade unions. Before the war it 
maintained a militant syndicalist policy; since the war it has been openly 
reformist and class collaborationist under the leadership of its president, 
Jouhaux. The revolutionary unions which belong to the Red Trade Union 
International (R.I.L.U.) are organised in the Confederation Generale du 
Travail Unitaire (C.G.T.U.). p. 151. 

110. Die Jugendinternationale (The Youth International) an internation- 
alist journal published by Willi Miinzenberg (now a Communist member of 
the Reichstag) in Zurich from 1915 to 1918. The journal was distributed 
illegally in the belligerent countries. p. 152. 

111. In 1916, during the war, L. D. Trotsky was expelled from France 
and then from Spain because of internationalist propaganda. He then came 
to New York where he edited the Russian Socialist newspaper Novy Mir 
(The New World). On May 3, 1917, on his way to Russia after the out- 
break of the Russian Revolution, Trotsky was arrested in Canada together 
with a few other Russian political emigrants, and interned in a concentration 
camp at Halifax as "a political fugitive dangerous to the Allies." His arrest 
lasted about a month. He was freed and allowed to proceed to Russia after 
a protest by the Petrograd Soviet to the Provisional Government. p. 153. 

112. Martov and a group of internationalist Mensheviks who were living 
in Switzerland wished to return to Russia by water via England. But the 
English Government refused visas to them. After having refused at first 
to go with Lenin through Germany, they were later compelled to use the 
same route. p. 153. 



366 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

113. This refers to the so-called "Liberty Loan of 1917," an internal loan 
which the Provisional Government had 'levied for war purposes. All political 
parties, from the Rights to the Mensheviks, supported this loan. The Bol- 
sheviks agitated against the loan and declared that support of it was equal 
to the granting of war credits. The loan was unsuccessful, the greatest 
number of the bonds remaining with the banks. p. 154. 

114. The Gotha Programme was adopted at the Unity Congress which 
was held in Gotha in May, 1875. At this Congress the Lassallean and Eisenach 
(Marxist) Fractions united to form the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany. 
The programme was a compromise between the Lassallean and Eisenach 
groups, containing all the essentially un-Marxian principles of Lassalle: the 
iron law of wages, the right of the workers to the whole product of their 
labour, establishment of Socialist producers* co-operatives with state aid; 
in addition, all classes outside of the workers were declared to constitute a 
reactionary mass. In his Gotha Programme, Marx subjected this compromise 
programme to annihilating criticism. The Gotha Programme remained the 
official party programme until 1891, when it was replaced by the Erfurt 
Programme adopted at the Congress held at Erfurt that year. p. 154. 

115. The original pamphlet Political Parties in Russia and the Tasks of 
the Proletariat, which appeared after a long delay, contains the following 
note under the title and before the text, probably made by Lenin himself 
as he read the final proofs: "Explanation of the draft of a platform which 
N. Lenin wrote for the discussion at the conferences of Bolsheviks. The 
publication of the draft itself was delayed solely because of lack of print 
shops in Petrograd.*' p. 158. 

116. See the telegram of the Minister of Agriculture, Shingarev, to the 
Ranenburg County Committee, p. 192 of this book. p. 164. 

117. On the Kamenno-ostrovsky Prospect there used to be the palace of 
Kshesinskaia, a ballet dancer and former mistress of Tsar Nicholas II who 
had the palace built for her. During the March Revolution, the palace was 
occupied by an armoured car division and placed at the disposal of the 
Central Committee and the Petrograd Committee of the Bolsheviks. In 
addition to these, several trade union bureaus also had their headquarters 
there. The large hall of the palace served as a reading room and soldiers' 
club. Kshesinskaia repeatedly tried to drive out the Bolshevik organisations 
with the help of the judicial offices of the Provisional Government, but 
without success. p. 171. 

118. In the declaration of the Provisional Government on the war issued 
April 9, 1917, it was said: 

. . . The defence of our native land at any price and the liberation of the 
country from the enemy who has broken across our boundaries that is the 
first urgent, vital task of our warriors who are defending the freedom of the 
people. . . . The goal of free Russia is not the domination over other peoples, 
not the rape of their national territory, not the violent conquest of foreign 
territories, but the establishment of a permanent peace on die basis of the 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 367 

right of self-determination of peoples. . . . These principles will be made 
the basis of the foreign policy of the Provisional Government, which is un- 
swervingly carrying out the will of the people and protecting the rights of our 
fatherland, while fully preserving the obligations assumed towards our 
allies. . . . 

The declaration was published under the pressure of the Petrograd Soviet 
of Workers* and Soldiers' Deputies which had demanded that the Provisional 
Government publish its war aims and adopt the proclamation of the Soviet 
of March 27 (see note 85). The Provisional Government adopted the revo- 
lutionary phraseology of that proclamation, but emphasised most decidedly 
its loyalty to the treaties with the Allies. p, 173. 

119. The London Agreement was concluded by the powers of the Entente 
on September 6, 1914. According to- this Agreement, the contracting parties 
were forbidden to end the war separately and could declare peace only 
jointly with the other Allies. p. 173. 

120. The Congress of the Delegates of the Field Army and the Western 
Front took place in Minsk on April 20, 1917, and was composed as follows: 
850 delegates with a deciding vote, 350 with an advisory vote and about 100 > 
guests. There were a large number of officers among the delegates. The 
Bolshevik Posern was elected chairman. Greetings were delivered by Gen- 
eral Gurko of the General Staff, Rodzianko and Rodichev of the Imperial 
Duma, and Chkheidze of the Petrograd Soviet. The Central Committee of the 
Bolsheviks was represented by Nogin and Lashevich. The majority of the 
Congress followed the line of the Petrograd Soviet and the resolutions adopted 
there represented a compromise. p. 174. 

121. Plekhanov's article entitled "On Lenin's Theses and Why Deliriums. 
Are Occasionally Interesting" was published in Numbers 9, 10 and 11 of the 
Yedinstvo, being devoted to a criticism of Lenin's theses of April 17. After 
presenting Lenin's first thesis, Plekhanov writes: "And what about Germany? 
Lenin says nothing about that. It would appear that Germany has been 
exposed to the danger of being plundered by Russia and that the Russian, 
proletariat need not participate in the present war.'* p. 176. 

122. The Modern was a circus in Petrograd, where mass meetings were 
held in 1917. p. 178. 

123. This refers to the speech which Lenin delivered the day after his 
arrival in Russia, in which he elucidated his April Theses (see note 86). 
p. 178. 

124. Dielo Naroda (People's Cause) daily paper, and organ of the Cen- 
tral Committee of the Party of Socialists-Revolutionists which appeared in 
Petrograd in 1917. The paper stood for defencism and represented the views 
of the so-called "Chernov Centre*' in contrast to the Volia Naroda (see note 
142) which was the organ of the "Right" Wing of the party. With the 
"freedom" of political opinions prevalent in the Socialist-Revolutionist Party 



368 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

and the variety of political "tendencies," several papers appeared simultane- 
ously in Petrograd, each of which represented a different "tendency." p. 180. 

125. The article referred to appeared in Number 23 of the Dielo Naroda, 
April 26, 1917, under the title: "Diplomatic Silence and Warlike Speeches." 
The author of the article draws attention to the fact that the question had 
heen directed at the Provisional Government whether it had communicated 
its statement concerning its renunciation of the policy of annexations and 
indemnities to the Allied Governments in the customary form of a diplo- 
matic note. Several members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to be sure, 
had declared that such a note had been sent and that a reply had even 
been received. In reality, however the author continues on the authority 
of competent sources, no note had been sent. Meanwhile Minister of War 
Guchkov is continuing to deliver belligerent speeches in which he calls upon 
the army to destroy Austria and Germany completely. p. 182. 

126. The Proclamation "To the Soldiers and Sailors'* was written by 
Lenin after April 24, 1917. The manuscript was found among his papers. 
This proclamation was not published at the time. Instead, another proc- 
lamation appeared in the Pravda entitled: "Against the Pogrom Makers" 
(p. 186). p. 183. 

127. The report was published in Number 32 of the Izvestia, April 18, 1917. 
p. 184. 

128. The protest of the Petrograd Soviet against the arrest of Trotsky, 
Melnichansky and other internationalists upon their return journey from 
America to Russia by the English Government in Canada (see note 111) 
is reproduced in Number 36 of the Petrograd Izvestia. The letter by Zurabov, 
a Left Menshevik and former Deputy in the Second Imperial Duma, stated 
that the Minister of Foreign Affairs Miliukov instructed the Russian consuls 
abroad not to grant passports to the emigrant internationalists who were 
blacklisted (see note 81). Martov's telegram was published in Number 37 
of the hvestia, April 24, 1917. p. 184. 

129. The proclamation "Against the Pogrom Makers" is the revised form 
of the proclamation "To the Soldiers and Sailors" (see note 126). It was 
written by Lenin on April 27, 1917 and proposed the same day to the Petro- 
grad Cily Conference which accepted it. The following day the proclama- 
tion appeared in tbe Pravda signed by the Central Committee and the 
Petrograd Committee of the party. p. 186. 

130. Malenkaia Gazeta (Little Gazette) a Petrograd boulevard paper which 
appeared from 1915 to 1917. It was published by A. Suvorin, Jr., the son of 
the publisher of the Novoie Vremia (see note 89). In 1917 the paper added 
the subtitle: Newspaper of Non-Partisan Socialists. p. 193. 

131. Tbe Petrograd City Conference of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Labour Party (Bolsheviks) took place on April 27 to May 5, 1917, with 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 369 

the interruption of a few days caused by the "April Crisis** (see note 150). 
Fifty-seven delegates with deciding votes participated in the Conference. 
G. Zinoviev was chairman. The agenda included the following points: 
1. Political situation (Reporter: Lenin) ; 2. Attitude towards the Soviet of 
Workers' and Soldiers* Deputies and its reorganisation; 3. Building up the 
organisation; 4. Altitude towards Social-Democrats of other tendencies; 
5. Municipal elections; 6. The attack upon the Pravda. Lenin's speech at 
the Conference on the political situation aroused the interest of the govern- 
ment officials of the Provisional Government. Among the docamenis of the 
juxlicial investigator of the Petrograd court, Alexandrov, who conducted 
the investigation concerning the July events, there are numerous quotations 
from Lenin's report, particularly those passages which refer to the question 
of the immediate seizure of landed estates, the structure of the state and 
criticism of defencism. Lenin's speeches are reproduced here according 
to the minutes of the Petrograd City Conference. p. 197. 

132. Lenin's speech at the Petrograd City Conference gave rise to a 
lengthy discussion in which Tomsky, Stahl, Yakovlev, Safarov, Bogdatiev, 
Kalinin and others participated. The next day the written resolution on 
the attitude towards the Provisional Government was made public. On 
this resolution Lenin (twice) and Kamenev spoke, the latter proposing vari- 
ous changes. (See note 134.) p. 205. 

133. A commission was elected by the Conference for the purpose of 
drafting the resolution on the policy towards the Provisional Government; 
it consisted of Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin, Bogdatiev and Shutko. The 
present resolution, therefore, is a collective product. However, since the 
resolution was written under the leadership and with the direct co-operation 
of Lenin, it has been embodied in the collection of Lenin's writings. p. 207. 

134. Kamenev proposed the inclusion of a sentence in the resolution on 
the control of the Provisional Government by the Soviet of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies, and to exclude from point five of the resolution the 
enumeration of the "sins" of the Provisional Government. Only Kamenev's 
proposed change in point five the words "monarchist agitation" were re- 
placed by the words "counter-revolutionary agitation" was adopted by the 
Conference. The record of Lenin's speech in the minutes has many gaps. 
p. 209. 

135. The "Draft Resolution on the War" was proposed by Lenin on April 
29, 1917, in the commission elected by the Conference. Lenin proposed the 
same draft to the editorial commission of the All-Russian April (May) Con- 
ference. There the resolution was essentially revised and then adopted by 
the Conference. The minutes of the Petrograd Cily Conference do not give 
the text of this draft, although Lenin declares expressly in his speech at the 
April Conference on the Resolution on the War, that he has also read the 
original draft of the resolution at the City Conference. The text of the reso- 
lution has been preserved in typewritten form and is now in the archives 
of the Lenin Institute. p. 209. 



370 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

136. The speaker on the question of Municipal Elections was L. M. 
Mikhailov, who expressed himself for a bloc with the other Socialist parties 
and for a common municipal programme. The speaker asserted that in this 
question there were no differences between the Bolsheviks and the other 
Socialist parties, and that a bloc was necessary for a more effective struggle 
against the Cadets. Mikhailov's municipal programme, which was published 
in Number 46 of the Petrograd hvestia without the author's signature, stresses 
the importance of municipal self-government as the "germ of collective society 91 ' 
and quoting the decisions of the International Socialist Congress at Paris of 
1900, offers a general democratic programme of municipal reform. Mikhailov's 
speech evoked a lively discussion in which Lenin also participated twice. The 
Conference rejected all blocs, decided that in municipal elections not only 
municipal demands but also demands of a general political nature were to 
be set up, and adopted the resolution proposed by Lenin. -p. 214. 

137. International journal of a group of internationalists led by Larin. 
Lenin was very suspicious of Larin's internationalism at the beginning of 
1917, Larin having been a former Menshevik and "Liquidator." Larin, how- 
ever, had completely broken with the Mensheviks and, together with his group, 
joined the Bolshevik Party in August, 1917. p. 214. 

138. The Resolution of the Petrograd City Conference on the Municipal 
Question is reproduced in the first part of the seventh volume of G. Zinoviev's 
Collected Works. However, the minutes of the Petrograd City Conference 
record the following: 

Three resolutions on the Municipal Question are read and voted upon: 
Resolution of Comrade Mikhailov For 1, Against 18, Abstained 4 
Sergei " 2, 13, " 8 

" ^ Lenin 21, " 0, 2 

The resolution of Comrade Lenin is adopted. 

In Number 40 of the Pravda, May 8, 1917, it is also reported that Lenin's 
resolution on the Municipal Question was adopted. For this reason, it was 
decided to include the resolution among Lenin's writings. p. 215. 

139. The conference of the representatives of the peasant organisations and 
of the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies took place in Petrograd in the Tauride 
Palace on April 27, 1917. It occupied itself with the preparatory work of 
convening an All-Russian Congress of Peasants* Soviets and determined the 
rules for representation at the Congress. More than twenty provinces were 
represented at the conference. p. 219. 

140. Finansovaia Gazeta (Financial Gazette) a. daily paper founded by 
V. V. Protopopov in Petrograd in 1915; organ of the big capitalists and 
bankers. Appeared first as an evening paper, later as a weekly. p. 227. 

141. Zemlia i Volia (Land and Freedom)* Socialist-Revolutionist daily 
paper, organ of the Petrograd Committee of the party, which was published 
in Petrograd in 1917. -p. 227. 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 371 



142. Volia Naroda (People's Will) a daily paper which was published in 
Petrograd in 1917; organ of the Right Wing of the Socialist-Revolutionist 
Party. The paper followed an outright social-patriotic and social-chauvinist 
course. p. 227. 

143. Dien (Day) a Petrograd daily paper. Founded in 1912 with the 
financial support of the banks, it was in the hands of the Menshevik Liquida- 
tors. In 1917, the paper bore the sub-title: Organ of Socialist Thought, but 
it was in reality the organ of the Left "Wing of the liberal bourgeoisie. A. 
Potresov was editor-in-chief. p. 227. 

144. The Kanavin correspondence, published in Number 32 of the Pravda, 
April 27, 1917, and signed "Levit," stated: 

In this district there are sixteen factories with about 30,000 workers* the 
railroaders not included. An illegal organisation has existed for some 
time. ... In almost every factory there has been introduced a labour militia 
paid by the factory management. To the Provincial Commissar as well as to 
the Chief for the Protection of the City have been attached committees of 
three delegates each, among them one representative of the City Duma and 
one representative of the Soviet. On March 27, a new executive committee 
of the Soviet of Workers* Deputies was elected, a large part of which consists 
of Bolshevik workers. p. 229. 

145. The note of May 1, 1917, which the Minister of Foreign Affairs 
Miliukov communicated to the Allied Governments through the Russian 
diplomatic representatives abroad together with the Declaration of the 
Provisional Government of March 27, defined this declaration more precisely 
and emphasised the determined will of the Provisional Government to carry 
the war to a victorious end and to remain loyal to the treaties with the Allies. 

The declarations of the Provisional Government permeated by the new 
spirit of liberated democracy Miliukov wrote in this note naturally cannot 
offer the slightest cause to assume that the accomplished upheaval will result 
in a weakening of Russia's role in the common struggle of the Allies. Quite 
the contrary. The effort of the whole people to carry the World War through 
to a decisive victory has only been strengthened thanks to the recognition of 
the general responsibility of each individual. This effort has become more 
active since it concentrates upon a task which is real and close to every 
one's heart to beat back the enemy who has broken across the very 
boundaries of our fatherland itself. Naturally, the Provisional Government 
as is also expressed in the accompanying document [the declaration 
of the Provisional Government. tf.] in protecting the rights of our 
fatherland, will hold faithfully to the obligations which we have assumed 
towards our allies. While the government is now, as before, firmly convinced 
that the present war will be victoriously concluded in complete accord with 
the Allies, it also maintains the full conviction that the problems raised by this 
war will be solved in the spirit of the creation of a firm basis for an enduring 
peace and that the progressive democracies permeated by the same aspirations 
will find a means to achieve those guarantees and sanctions which are neces- 
sary to prevent new bloody conflicts in the future. p. 233. 

146. Point seven of the Resolution of the Petrograd City Conference of the 
Bolsheviks on the attitude towards the Provisional Government states that *'. . . 
each step made by the Provisional Government both in the realm of its 



372 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

domestic and foreign policies, is bound to open the eyes not only of the city 
and village proletarians and semi-proletarians, but also of the petty bourgeoisie 
to the real nature of this government." (See page 208 of this book.) p. 235. 

147. Number 18 of the Yedinstvo of May 3, 1917, published a letter by 
Plekhanov to the students. Plekhanov, who was prevented by illness from 
being present in person at the May 1 meeting, sent the following letter to the 
"organiser of the meeting/* the association of Socialist students: 

Dear Comrades! I am very sorry that illness not for long, I hope 
prevents me from expressing my sympathies in person. But it is entirely 
impossible. I am forced to confine myself to a written communication to 
you. It is very important for the emancipation movement of the international 
proletariat that as many college- trained people as possible join it. Education 
helps one to get oriented in phenomena and to evaluate them historically. 
Since, in your persons, I am writing to people who are working at their 
education, I permit myself to draw your attention to the following note- 
worthy circumstance. The decision to celebrate the first of May was made 
at the Paris International Socialist Congress in 1889. At this Congress 
there were representatives of many capitalist countries which already at that 
time stood on a higher level of economic development than that which Russia 
has now attained. The Anarchists proposed to the Congress to call upon the 
proletariat to make a social revolution. The Congress, the majority of which 
consisted of Marxists, called upon the proletariat to fight for the eight-hour 
day. It understood that the social, more precisely, the Socialist revolution 
presupposes a long labour of enlightenment and organisation in the depths 
of the working class. That is now forgotten by the people here who call upon 
the Russian toiling masses to seize political power, a call which could have 
any meaning only if the objective conditions were present which are necessary 
for the social revolution. These conditions do not as yet exist, and you, who 
are familiar with scientific method, should remind those who should know 
it as often as possible. The task of the Left parties in Russia consists in 
fortifying the positions which have been won by the revolution which has been 
just brought about. For a solution of this task it is necessary not to over- 
throw the Provisional Government as a few political fanatics would like to 
do, but unanimously to support it. G. Plekhanov. p. 236. 

148. Novaia Zhizn (New Life) organ of the Social-Democratic Interna- 
tionalists, published by Maxim Gorki in Petrograd in 1917. Besides Gorki, 
N. Sukhanov, V. Stroiev, I. Serebrov also belonged to the editorial staff. The 
following were announced as collaborators: B. Avilov, V. Bazarov, A. Bog- 
danov, V. Briusov, V. Kerzhentsev, L. Krassin, N. Krestinksy, A. Lozovsky, 
A. Lunacharsky, L. Martov, Ramsay MacDonald, V. Maiakovsky, M. Pavlovich, 
M. Pokrovsky, Larissa Reissner, Remain Rolland, A. Swidersky, Philip 
Snowden, J. Steklov, K. Timiriazev, A. N. Tolstoy, Uritsky, H. G. Wells and 
others. Up to November, the Novaia Zhizn vacillated continually between 
social-pacifism and revolution; now it attacked the Provisional Government 
and the compromisers, now the Bolsheviks. The November Revolution inspired 
the organ of the intellectuals, which had no influence among the masses, with 
fear, and the people of the Novaia Zhizn turned sharply against the Soviets. 
Some sank to the level of open Menshevism, others withdrew from political 
life entirely. The former Bolsheviks and the so-called Mezhraiontsy (see note 
206) returned to the Bolshevik Party. A small group of the supporters of the 
Novaia Zhizn joined the Moscow organisation of the Social-Democratic in- 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 373 

ternationalists after Moscow was made the capital. This group existed up to 
1919 when it merged with the Communist Party. p. 240. 

149. In Number 26 of the Dido Naroda (April 29, 1917), V. Chernov 
published an article entitled "Lenin." "Lenin," Chernov said, "is a man of 
great capacities, but the abnormal conditions of underground life have 
dwarfed and stunted them most gruesomely. Lenin could say of himself: 
'I know not where I am going, but I am going there with determination.' 
Lenin is certainly devoted to the revolution, but with him this devotion is 
embodied in his own person: 'I am the state.' [The expression Vetat, c'est 
moi, attributed to Louis XIV. Ed.] To him there is no difference between 
personal policy and the interests of the party, the interests of Socialism. 
Lenin has an extraordinary intellect, but it is one-sided. Lenin is an ab- 
solutely honest man, but a man with a one-track mind. For that reason his 
moral sense has been dulled. Lenin's Socialism is a blunt Socialism; he uses 
a big axe where a scalpel is needed." The fear that Lenin might disrupt 
Russian life appears ludicrous to Chernov. If Lenin's programme is analysed, 
there is seen above all an intoxication with the air of the revolution and a 
dizziness as a result of the enormous height to which events have whisked him. 
He lacks a sense of responsibility. Chernov therefore finds that the danger 
of Lenin's influence is very limited and can easily be localised by "us the 
Socialists." p. 242. 

150. The crisis of May 3-5, 1917, was caused by Minister of Foreign 
Affairs Miliukov's note to the Allied Governments (see note 145) of May 1. 
This note convinced the toiling masses that the Provisional Government which 
in words accepted the slogan of peace without annexations or indemnities, 
but in reality confirmed its faithfulness to the annexationist treaties concluded 
by Nicholas II with the Allies and bound itself to carry the war to a victorious 
end. The result was a series of street demonstrations of the workers and 
soldiers against Miliukov and the Provisional Government The bourgeoisie 
replied with patriotic counter-demonstrations which led to outbreaks on the 
Nevsky Prospect. Demonstrating workers were fired upon. The movement 
found an echo in Moscow where a part of the workers and the 56th Reserve 
Regiment demonstrated before the Soviet and the Moscow Committee of the 
Bolsheviks. The indignation of the masses compelled Miliukov to retire. 
He was replaced by Tereshchenko, up to that time Minister of Finance. The 
government crisis persisted until May 5 when the first Coalition Government 
was formed with the participation of the Socialists, The resolutions of the 
Central Committee of the Bolsheviks of May 4 and 5, 1917, were written by 
Lenin. A previous resolution of May 3 was probably written by another 
member of the Central Committee. It will be found among the appendices in 
Book II. p. 245. 

151. The leading article of the Rabochaia Gazeta, Number 36, May 4, 1917, 
entitled "An Insane Step," and devoted to the crisis of May 3, stated: 

Russian Democracy looked upon the proclamation of the Provisional Gov- 
ernment to the citizens on April 9 [see note 118] only as a first step; it 
expected a second step the proposal to the allied republics [? EdJ\ to 



374 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

subject the old treaties to revision from the standpoint of the new prin- 
ciples proclaimed on April 9. Now the Minister of Foreign Affairs declares 
that no new principles had been proclaimed on April 9, that it [the Provisional 
Government.^.] "had only added its voice to the voices of its allies." . . . 
All nations and, above all, Russian Democracy are interested in the cessation 
of the carnage, and our Democracy will offer decided opposition to the move 
of the Provisional Government. We have turned decidedly against stirring 
up civil war by the supporters of Lenin. But now it is no longer Lenin's 
supporters who are giving the signal for civil war, but the Provisional Gov- 
ernment which has published a document which is a mockery of the aspira- 
tions of Democracy. It is truly an insane step and immediate determined 
measures on the part of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies are 
necessary to prevent its frightful consequences. p. 251. 

152. Gazeta-Kopeika (Penny Gazette) a bourgeois daily of small format 
and sold at one kopeck which appeared in Petrograd from 1908 to 1917. 
It was published by M. Gorodetsky. p. 253. 

153. Birzhevya Viedomosti (Stock Exchange News) a boulevard paper 
published daily in two editions in Petrograd. It was usually called Birzhevka 
for short. p. 260. 

154 As a result of the events of May 3-5 in Petrograd, tne Yedinstvo 
of May 5, 1917 (Number 20), published the following proclamation on its 
first page in large type: 

Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. Proletarians of all countries, 
unite! Proclamation. Citizens! Our Fatherland is in danger! We do not 
need a civil war! A civil war will destroy our young freedom. What is 
necessary is an understanding between the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies and the Provisional Government. We do not need any conquests, 
but we must not permit Germany to enslave Russia. Each people has the 
right to determine its own destiny. Wilhelm of Germany and Karl of Austria 
will never agree to this. By conducting the war against them, we are defend- 
ing our own and others* freedom. Russia cannot be unfaithful to its Allies. 
That would cover the country with shame and would call down upon it the 
righteous anger and the scorn of the entire Democratic Europe, G. V. 
Plekhanov, L. G. Deutsch, V. I. Zasulich. p. 262. 

155. Torinainen's interview with Lenin was published in the Helsingfors 
Finnish Social-Democratic paper Tybmies (Worker) of May 8, 1917. The 
following note was added by the reporter: 

I met Comrade Lenin, of whom so much is being spoken in the last few 
days, in the editorial office of the Pravda. Not having any time, Lenin said 
he could only have a short conversation. Upon my question, however, he 
replied as follows. . . . 

In the Russian edition the interview was re-translated from, the Finnish. 
The English translation is made from the Russian. p. 264. 

156. In Number 38 of the Rabochaia Gazeta an article appeared entitled 
"The Non-Commissioned Officer's Widow** containing a criticism of the resolu- 
tion of the Bolshevik Central Committee "On the Provisional Government in 
Connection with the Crisis of Power." The author of the article is of the 
opinion that the Leninists have lost their courage in face of the elemental 
anarchy which they themselves have laboured to stir up. 

The Bolsheviks were afraid of power. . . . The Leninists were afraid of 
the resistance which they encountered in the embittered mass of bourgeois 
Philistines, ... To us it has always been clear that demagogy is inseparably 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 375 

bound up with the absence of principle and political cowardice. . . . That, 
we hope, should become clear to many now. . . . p. 265. 

157. The expression "attempt to move slightly more to the Left" refers to 
the tactics of the Petrograd Committee of the Bolsheviks which had issued 
the slogan "Down with the Provisional Government!" in the April Days. 
Further details are given in the "Concluding Remarks in Connection with 
the Report on the Political Situation" delivered at the April Conference (p. 
285 of this book). p. 265. 

158. The "Draft of Theses for a Resolution on the Soviets" was written 
by Lenin during the April Conference. The theses served as a basis for his 
speech at the Conference on May 8, which, however, were not preserved in 
the minutes of the Conference. They contain, particularly in the conclusion, 
only suggestive phrases, but no finished formulations. This is sufficiently 
explained by the origin and purpose of these written notes. p. 267. 

159. The All-Russian April Conference of the Bolsheviks met in Petrograd 
from April 24 to 29 (May 7-12) . From the character of the questions treated 
there, as well as from the importance which it assumed for the further de- 
velopment of the entire Russian Revolution, and the fact that a new Central 
Committee was elected at this Conference, the Conference was really a party 
convention. The agenda included the following important points: The 
Political Situation (Evaluation of the Perspectives of the Russian Revolution), 
the War, Preparatory Work for the Formation of the Third International, 
the Agrarian Question, the Programme Question and the National Question. 
There were 151 delegates at the Conference, representing 79,204 party mem- 
bers, in spite of the fact that since the March Revolution, when the party 
emerged from its underground existence, only two months had elapsed. 

At the Conference there was a small group, consisting predominantly of a 
part of the delegates of the Moscow Committee and the Moscow District 
Organisation (Nogin, Rykov, Smidovich, Ovsianikov, Angarsky and others) ; 
their conception of the revolution corresponded to the position of the 
Bolsheviks in 1905 (the formula: "Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the 
Peasantry"). At the Moscow City Conference which had taken place shortly 
before, resolutions were adopted which almost completely expressed the con- 
ceptions of 1905. (The "Resolution of the Muscovites," of which Lenin speaks 
in his report, was not the resolution of the Moscow City Conference but of 
the Conference of the Moscow District; this resolution will be found among 
the appendices in Book II.) Kamenev, who stood close to the conceptions 
of this group, was delegated by it to deliver a co-report. 

A "Left" standpoint was also represented. This was supported by the 
Moscow District Committee of which Bubnov, Oppokov (Lomov) and 
Sokolnikov were delegates. 

The Polish delegates with Felix Dzierzynski at the head assumed a special 
position on the National Question. The Polish comrades, who were accustomed 
to struggle against Polish nationalism, considered the resolution which an- 
nounced the right of self-determination of peoples to the point of recognising 
the right of separating from Russia as untenable and opportunistic. Piatakov 



376 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

was also in disagreement with Lenin's views on the National Question. 
These debates constituted a continuation of the discussion which had occupied 
the party since 1913. 

There were big debates in the commissions. In the Commission for the 
Revision of the Party Programme, the comrades of the Moscow District 
Committee (Oppokov) proposed to revise the theoretical part of the programme, 
to which Lenin did not agree. In the Commission on the International the 
majority of the members considered it possible to build up the Third In- 
ternational not only from the elements of the Zimmerwald Left but from 
the elements of Zimmerwald and Kienthal in general. The Commission made 
certain changes in the resolution presented by Zinoviev which were later re- 
jected by the Plenum. On the other hand, there were differences between 
Lenin and Zinoviev on this question. Lenin insisted that it was necessary to 
break immediately with the Zimmerwald Union, remaining in it only for 
''purposes of information." Following the discussion, the Conference accepted 
Zinoviev's view. 

The Conference was preceded by a session on May 6 of the delegates who 
reached Petrograd by that time. In this session the agenda of the Conference 
was agreed upon. 

The minutes of the Conference were not conducted systematically. Part 
of them are stenographic, full of gaps and errors, part are written records. 
Only a few stylistic and grammatical corrections were made in these minutes. 
The resolutions adopted by the Conference were prepared by a commission 
elected at the Conference and with Lenin's direct co-operation. The resolutions 
as well as the "Proclamation to the Soldiers of All Countries" will be found 
among the appendices in Book II. p. 269. 

160. Soldatskcda Pravda (Soldier's Truth) a popular daily paper of 
the Petrograd Military Organization of the Bolsheviks which was published 
from April 28 till the July Days of 1917. p. 272. 

161. The resolution referred to here, which Lenin proposed to the April 
Conference, has been lost to this day. p. 282. 

162. The Erfurt Programme of the German Social-Democracy was adopted 
at the Party Convention in Erfurt, October 14-20, 1891, in place of the an- 
tiquated Gotha Programme (see note 114) ; it was written by Kautsky who 
later published an extensive commentary on this programme. The Erfurt 
Programme consists of two parts: 1. A presentation of the Marxian theory 
concerning the development of society from capitalism to Socialism (the 
so-called Maximum Programme) ; 2. It contains a series of practical demands 
which can be carried out within the framework of capitalist society (Minimum 
Programme). The Erfurt Programme served as a model for a number of 
programmes of the other national Social-Democratic parties of the Second 
International, including the Programme of the Russian Social-Democratic 
Labour Party of 1903. 

Friedrich Engels subjected the Erfurt Programme to a lengthy criticism. 
In reference to the planlessness of production with the existence of trusts, 
Engels says: 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 377 

And when we pass from stock companies to trusts which dominate and 
monopolise whole branches of industry, not only does private production 
cease, hut also planlessness. (See the Neue Zeit, 1901-1902, V. I, p. 8). p. 282. 

163. In his co-report at the April (May) Conference, Kamenev said the 
following concerning the tactics of the party during the events of May 3-5: 

. . . After the Central Committee, in yesterday's resolution, was compelled 
to admit that the slogan of the immediate overthrow of the Provisional Gov- 
ernment was an adventurist slogan, which in my opinion is strongly exag- 
gerated, and due to the fact that my statement that the slogan "Down with 
the Provisional Government'* might play a disorganising role was ignored 
we were forced suddenly to retreat, we missed the time to warn the masses 
against the disorganising significance of this slogan, and exposed ourselves 
to the fire of the petty bourgeoisie by saying that this slogan was an ad- 
venturist one. 

At the end of his speech Kamenev agreed to the demand proposed by the 
members of the Moscow District Committee and criticised by Lenin of the 
actual control of the Provisional Government by the Workers* Soviet, and said 
the following: 

. . . This control was realised when, upon Kornilov's order, the troops were 
to march out, and the Soviet at that time declared that the troops of the 
Petrograd Garrison were only at the disposal of the Soviet and the troops did 
not obey Kornilov's command. p. 285. 

164. Members of the Petrograd Committee (P.C.) of the Bolsheviks which 
issued a wrong slogan during the events of May 3-5 and did not guide itself 
by the instructions of the Central Committee. p. 287. 

165. Borgbjerg, member of the Danish Social-Democratic Party, and an 
opportunist, came to Petrograd in April, 1917, and transmitted an invitation 
in the name of the Scandinavian Socialists to an international conference which 
was to meet in Stockholm in order to exercise pressure upon the belligerent 
countries in the interest of peace. The Mensheviks and the Socialists- 
Revolutionists accepted the invitation. The German "Spartacists" joined with 
the Bolsheviks. The social-patriotic Socialist Party of France as well as the 
English Independent Labour Party finally declined after a long period of 
vacillation for social-patriotic reasons. The conference did not materialise. 
The question of calling an international Socialist conference was put on the 
agenda at the April Conference on Nogin's proposal, the latter having re- 
ported at length on Borgbjerg's invitation which Borgbjerg had personally 
extended at a session of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet 
Nogin raised the question for discussion whether the Bolsheviks in one form 
or other should participate in the international conference planned by 
Borgbjerg. Nogin himself inclined to the opinion that a delegation of the 
revolutionary minority of the Soviets be sent abroad if only for purposes of 
information. The April Conference rejected Nogin's standpoint decidedly. 
p. 287. 

166. SociaL-Demokraten chief organ of the Danish Social-Democratic Party, 
published at Copenhagen. p. 288. 

167. The draft of the resolution on Borgbjerg's proposal which Lenin pre- 



378 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

sented to the April Conference has not yet been found. It may be assumed 
that the draft had the same contents as the resolution edited by the com- 
mission and accepted by the conference. (See appendices in Book II.) p. 289. 

168. Kamenev's draft resolution on Borgbjerg's proposal is missing from 
the minutes of the Conference. In his speech, Kamenev proposed that Lenin's 
resolution be accepted and published as the Manifesto of the Conference, but 
that in addition a special resolution be adopted, the contents of which. 
amounted to the following: 

1. For the unification of the actions of the labouring masses an agreement 
is to be made only with those parties that admit only of the revolutionary 
method of struggle against their own imperialism; 2. Without previous, 
understanding with these groups our party considers negotiations with the 
majorities inadmissible; 3. Exposure of the true character of the proposed 
conference; to warn the Soviet against participation in this conference; 4- 
A conference of the revolutionary Social-Democracy is to be organised in 
opposition to European imperialism. p. 291. 

169. The debates at the April Conference on the attitude toward the 
Soviets of Workers* and Soldiers* Deputies are missing from the minutes of 
the conference published by the Istpart (Commission for the Study of the 
History of the Party and the Revolution.) Only the beginning of the report 
of Nogin, who was vice-chairman of the Moscow Soviet at that time, has been, 
preserved. Lenin's speech is missing entirely and is reproduced here from 
the short report in the Pravda. The Pravda Number 42, reported as fol- 
lows concerning the discussion: 

In the evening session of April 25 [May 8], the questions of the stand 
toward the Soviets of Workers* and Soldiers* Deputies was discussed. The 
discussion was especially valuable because both the rich experience of the 
local activity of the party organisations and nuclei and of the Soviets was 
utilised. Comrade Nogin, as the reporter, recommended a cautious stand 
toward the workers' Soviets. They must be fortified, broad masses attracted 
to them, their authority strengthened in the eyes of the people. This can 
only occur by the gradual execution of practical measures. As long as this, 
organisational and political preparatory work is not done, it is premature to 
declare the Soviets as organs of power. The discussion revealed that in the 
province the Soviets are much more firmly entrenched than in the centres,, 
their range of activity being considerably greater there than in the capitals. 
In many places the food distribution is in the hands of the Soviets. They are 
the real power in the province. In part, they also exercise control over 
production and distribution. 

(Then follows the brief report of Lenin's speech which is printed in the 
text.) p. 291. 

170. The Resolution of the April Conference on the War is the collective 
Work of the editorial commission in which Lenin participated. It was 
worked out in accord with his basic report. The commission completed its 
work on May 10 and Lenin delivered the speech in favour of the resolution 
as the reporter for the commission. (The resolution on the war as well as 
the other resolutions of the April Conference will be found among the 
appendices in Book EL) p. 291. 

171. See V. I. Lenin: The Agrarian Programme of the Social-Democracy 
in, the First Russian Revolution, 1905-1907 (Russian). The first edition of 
the book appeared in 1918. p. 303, 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 379 

172. Angarsky, who participated in the discussion following Lenin's report 
on the agrarian question, declared that he was completely in accord with 
Lenin on the nationalisation of the land, but raised the objection that Lenin, 
by referring to the wish of the peasants themselves for nationalisation, rested 
his thesis on nationalisation on idealist grounds ("Draft of the 104"). 
Angarsky was of the opinion that this was impermissible for a Marxist, it 
being a Socialist-Revolutionist manner of appro-aching a question. p. 307. 

173. The programme of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party which 
had been adopted at the Second Congress in 1903, had become antiquated 
by the time of the second Russian Revolution. Already in his April Theses 
Lenin declared that it was necessary to revise the programme and change 
the name of the party (see p. 108 of this book). At the All-Russian April 
Conference this question was taken up in a commission with the co-opera- 
tion of Lenin. As material for the Conference, Lenin had copies of his draft of 
"Proposed Changes in the Theoretical, Political and Several Other Parts 
of the Programme'* (see p. 332) distributed among the delegates. Lack of 
time, and the fact that no discussion had been conducted on the matter in 
the party before, moved the Conference to refrain from undertaking a final 
revision of the programme. The programme commission confined itself to 
formulating a number of isolated changes (it is with the remarks of the 
Commission that Lenin takes issue (see pp. 330-331 of this book) ; the remarks 
themselves will be found among the appendices in Book II). The Sub-Com- 
mission appointed by the Commission for Labour Protection had also worked 
out a draft revising the economic minimum programme. On the basis of 
Lenin's report, which he delivered as the reporter for the Sub-Commission, 
the Conference adopted a general resolution on the necessity of changing 
the programme and called upon the membership to discuss this question in 
detail. p. 308. 

174. The reporter on the National Question at the April Conference was 
J. V. Stalin, who held the same views on the question as were later formulated 
in the Programme of the Communist Party of Russia at its Eighth Congress. 
He summarised his speech with the following policies: 

Recognition of the right of peoples to separate; territorial autonomy for 
those peoples that remain within the borders of a given state; special laws for 
national minorities which will permit them free development; united, in- 
divisible proletarian co-operation, the united party, for the proletarians of 
all nationalities of the state in question. 

A co-report was delivered by G. L. Piatakov. His viewpoint was that 
national schisms and the aggravation of the national question were survivals 
of the epoch of feudalism and the period of the struggle of the rising 
bourgeoisie against feudalism. To the extent that the epoch of developed 
capitalism and imperialism raises the question of the social revolution, to that 
extent the national question disappears, since under Socialism there can be 
no national separations and the developed industrial countries will necessarily 
constitute a unified economic organism. The slogan of the separation of 
nations must be replaced by the slogan: "Down with Boundaries between 
Nations and States." 

Felix Dzierzynski, holding to the traditional standpoint of the Polish Social- 



380 EXPLANATORY NOTES 

Democracy, turned against the resolution proposed by Lenin by trying to snow 
that nationalist aspirations are reactionary and that the struggle for the social 
revolution would put aside the separatist aspirations of the small nations. 

The record of Lenin's speech on the National Question is extremely in- 
accurate and full of gaps. p. 310. 

175. This refers to Lenin's article "On a Caricature of Marxism and on 
Imperialist Economism,'* which was written in 1915. See V. I. Lenin, Collected 
Works, Vol. XVni. p. 312. 

176. The reporter on the situation in the International was Zinoviev, who 
sponsored a resolution which was then adopted by the Conference. In 
reference to the third "Zimmerwald" Conference the convocation of which 
was planned for May 18, 1917, the reporter expressed himself for participation 
in this conference in order better to be able to come to an understanding 
with the Liebknecht group, unify the Zimmerwald Left and at the conference 
itself to break with the "centrist" majority on the occasion of big, basic 
questions, as for example, the question of the Stockholm Conference which 
had been proposed by Borgbjerg, and to organise the Third International in 
the further course of development. 

Lenin's amendment proposed to "stay in the Zimmerwald Union solely for 
the purposes of information.'* The Conference rejected this amendment and 
(adopted Zinoviev's resolution unchanged. ,(See the resolution among the 
appendices in Book II.) Lenin's speech at the conference is very briefly 
( and inaccurately reported. p. 315. 

177. This refers to the Third "Zimmerwald** Conference planned for May 
18, 1917. This conference did not take place until September 5, 1917 in Stock- 
holm and its sessions were rigidly conspiratory. The Russian delegation con- 
sisted of the following members: From the Central Committee of the 
Bolsheviks Vorovsky (Orlovsky) and Semashko (Alexandrov) ; from the 
Organisation Committee of the Mensheviks, P. B. Axelrod and Panin (the 
last two left the Conference even before its close, since they did not agree 
with the resolutions of the Conference) ; from the Menshevik Internationalists, 
Ermansky; from the Polish Social-Democracy (National Committee), Radek 
and Hanecki. From Germany there were Georg Ledebour, Hugo Haase, 
Kathe Duncker, and others. In addition, the following countries were repre- 
sented: Rumania, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway. Lind- 
hagen was the chairman. The agenda included the following points: 1. Re- 
port of the International Socialist Commission; 2. The struggle for peace 
and the attitude of the Zimmerwaldians to it; 3. The Grimm Affair; 4. Atti- 
tude towards the Stockholm Conference. It was decided that the decisions 
of the Conference were binding also for those parties that were not repre- 
sented at the Conference but which belonged to the Zimmerwald Union. 
The basic question of the Conference was how to give real support to the 
Russian Revolution. The Conference issued a proclamation appealing for 
an international general strike against the war and for the protection of 
the Russian Revolution: "Either the Revolution will kill the war, or the 
war will kill the Revolution.** The Third Zimmerwald Conference in Stock- 
holm was the last of the Zimmerwald International Union. p. 315. 



EXPLANATORY NOTES 381 

178. See Imperialism As the Final Stage of Capitalism. Written by Lenin 
in 1915, the first Russian edition of this book appeared in 1917. A revised 
English translation will appear in Vol. XVIII of Lenin's Collected Works. 
p. 320. 

179. See J. A. Hobson: Imperialism, London, 1902. p. 320. 

180. This refers to the book Against the Stream, a collection of articles 
by Lenin and Zinoviev written during the war. Lenin's writings during the 
years 1914-1916 will be found in Vols. XVQI and XIX of his Collected Works. 
p. 320. 

181. The draft of "Proposed Changes in the Theoretical, Political and 
Several Other Parts of the Programme" was probably written a few days before 
the April Conference; "Concerning the Remarks of the Committee" was 
written a week after the Conference. Lenin probably wrote the comparison 
of the old and the new text of the programme ("Draft of Revised Programme") 
also at this time. The introduction to the pamphlet, as well as the footnote 
(see p. 325), Lenin wrote on June 2, 1917. For the sake of simplicity, all 
of these articles, although written at different times, are printed together, 
disregarding the chronological sequence which has been otherwise followed in 
this volume. The "Remarks of the 'Commission on the General (Theoretical) 
Part of the Programme" may be found among the appendices in Book 
H. p. 325. 

END OF BOOK I